Media Releases

Green Party welfare policy a welcome surprise

AAAP welcomes the release of the Green Party’s welfare policy.  This acknowledges that benefit rates must increase and the punitive culture within Work and Income must change.

“We are encouraged to see the Green Party addressing real issues faced by people in poverty. We remain concerned that the Green’s commitment to Budget Responsibility Rules runs contrary to this welfare policy,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty.

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Budget 2017: Welfare group says Accommodation Supplement increase is a con job

Increases in the Accommodation Supplement (AS) means an equal deduction from Temporary Additional Support (TAS).

“The government is cynically hiding behind the complexity of the welfare payments,” says Vanessa Cole, Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson.

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Welfare activists to grill Bill English on housing, welfare and work

Welfare activists will protest outside the National Party Northern Regional Convention this Mother’s Day to demand universal access to state housing and a livable income.

“Unemployed workers need a living income and access to state housing. Instead they are subjected to sanctions and punishment,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for AAAP.

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Labour and Greens fiscal management rules offer no change

Labour and Greens new Budget Responsibility Rules for fiscal management demonstrates a lack of commitment to the low paid and unemployed. Their commitment is to change nothing.

“When political parties talk about fiscal management and debt reduction, what they are really saying is that austerity measures will be put in place to cut funding from essential social resources,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty.

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Welfare group say Government have failed homeless and lack any vision for solutions

The National Government are denying that there is a housing crisis while the number of homeless families in need of Special Needs Grants for emergency housing increases.

“The Government have failed homeless families forced into a poverty trap between accruing debt for emergency housing or going into an unaffordable private rental market,” says AAAP spokesperson Vanessa Cole.

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Call centre workers’ contracts end two weeks before Christmas

Around 70 Manpower call centre workers have had their contracts end two weeks before Christmas. Most of the workers were made to sign contracts by Work and Income under the threat of sanctions.

“These are workers with children who will be struggling during Christmas because Work and Income placed them in precarious and insecure work,” says AAAP spokesperson Vanessa Cole.

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Work and Income limit access through forced ID checks

From today, Work and Income staff will be asking for ID from beneficiaries seeking help from Work and Income. This policy shift follows the prosecution of MSD in the Ashburton case for failing to adequately protect staff.

“While we believe in the safety of all workers, AAAP see this policy shift as another move to hinder access to Work and Income and punish the poor,”says AAAP spokesperson Vanessa Cole.

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Investigation into woman’s death proof Work and Income’s toxic culture is lethal

The Ministry of Social Development are being accused in an investigation into the death of Wendy Shoebridge for having monthly quotas to prosecute beneficiaries for benefit fraud.

“AAAP see this treatment of beneficiaries by fraud investigators who are encouraged by MSD to punish beneficiaries as emblematic of the toxic culture of MSD which has turned lethal,” says Vanessa Cole spokesperson for AAAP.

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Welfare group have no faith in Key’s replacement

John Key’s three terms in power have come to an end following his resignation today.  His time in power is characterised by the economic assault on the poor, but also an increase in resistance and organising.

“AAAP do not see John Key’s resignation as a time for celebration, but instead a time for our group and many others to push for a total reversal of National’s war on the poor,” AAAP spokesperson Vanessa Cole says.

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Welfare group occupies Manpower office to protest illegal contracts

Auckland Action Against Poverty occupied the offices of Manpower Services to demand the end of exploitative and illegal contracts used by the Company.

“Manpower is one of many recruitment agencies used by Work and Income to force beneficiaries into precarious work,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Vanessa Cole.

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