Te Ao Māori News: Auckland Action Against Poverty calls for end to benefit sanctions

In May the Ministry of Social Development removed sanctions for solo mothers who refused to name their children’s fathers.

But many other sanctions remain on drug users, people who don’t look for work, or those who miss appointments with mandatory service contractors and could have their benefits reduced and eventually terminated.

Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) want these sanctions removed. It believes the sanctions don’t achieve what they are set out to do, and that they make bad situations worse.

Corporate vs individual welfare

Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Tama economist Matthew Roskruge doesn’t see a two-tier system. He sees two different approaches, to fix two different problems.

“I think it is a difficult comparison to make between a welfare system and a fixed-term business support policy,” Roskruge says.

But he acknowledges that beneficiaries are being treated differently to a worker whose life has been upset by Covid-19. There’s definitely a gap between how the rich, poor, and working class are treated.

“We see that story play out in justice, health and education systems as examples,” Roskruge says.

Instead of comparing how beneficiaries and displaced workers have been treated, he asks a poignant question.

“If we had a good enough welfare system, would we have needed the wage subsidy?”

Read the full story on Te Ao Māori News

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