Let’s be honest about what the new Welfare cuts will cost: More suicides, more prostitution, more self-harm, more poverty and no jobs


Let’s be blunt and honest about the true costs of these new Welfare cuts. The first thing to appreciate is the bare faced lie Paula Bennett regurgitates when challenged on their effect. Despite Paula’s vacant faced protestations, these reforms WILL NOT find beneficiaries jobs, they are created for the very specific purpose of disqualifying those people that mainstream media have no sympathy for.

These rules are cost cutting measures built to find excuses to end someones benefit, the smokescreen of helping to make people ‘work ready’ is as bleak a lie as ‘work makes you free’.

This is cruelty as social policy. The impacts of putting pressure on the most vulnerable amongst us back to work with the petty weekly shaming and stick threats of a ‘social worker’ contracted to find an excuse to kick the person off welfare will have a cost that Treasury and Paula Bennett have not factored in.

It will be paid in higher suicides, higher levels of prostitution, higher levels of self harm and there will be no extra jobs.

The most vulnerable amongst us will be forced to do with less because of an economic financial meltdown none of them had any hand in making, while this Government hands back $400m a year to the richest NZers in Tax cuts.

The 800 000 NZers living beneath the poverty line don’t need more welfare punishment by a vengeful ideological Government venting at their favorite public hate target. This entire debate manages to operate within a neoliberal cultural fantasy that demands self congratulation for ones status in society minus the acknowledgment of the invisible privilege that’s set them there.

“If-you’re-poor-it’s-your-fault-now-fucking-suffer’ isn’t much of a Welfare policy, but then again, this isn’t much of a Government.


  1. I think it’s important to acknowledge that these changes are going to force people into work they would never otherwise want to do.

    That said, I don’t think sex work should be singled out here. It’s legal, and while many may find it undesirable work, it shouldn’t be differentiated from other forms of labour that people wouldn’t chose to do if their circumstances allowed.

    Pointing to sex work instead of menial hospitality, toilet cleaning or mind-numbing admin work is because we still have backwards attitudes about providing sexual services for money.

    The focus should be on people forced into any industries against their will, not lumping a profession already facing discrimination in with harm and suicide.

    No person should have to offer sexual services unless they want to. No person should have to clean poo off an elderly person unless they want to.

      • Yes there is the real issue, where are the jobs, please please let me know, I know people desperate for a job, they’ve knocked on doors, sent their CVs, done endless courses, know how to clean for $13 an hour…

      • The jobs are not out there for a reason.

        The sort of jobs that the bosses want to create are cheap, slave labour jobs so they can extract greater profits.

        Putting another 85,000 onto the job market forced to work or starve, will drive down wages and create more cheap jobs.

        That’s what these reforms are about, not brutality for its own sack, but brutality in service of wage slavery.

        • Putting another 85,000 onto the job market forced to work or starve, will drive down wages and create more cheap jobs.

          No, it won’t create any more cheap jobs – it won’t create any jobs at all. What it’ll do is drive wages down even further and create more poverty.

          That’s what these reforms are about, not brutality for its own sack, but brutality in service of wage slavery.

          That I’ll agree with. These reforms are all about forcing people to work to make someone else richer.

      • Down to bare basics here – the fact that there are so many people in this world that have wangled themselves into the most desirable jobs which they are completely unsuitable for and shit all over said jobs IS the reason there aren’t suitable jobs for all

        • Yes exactly right those people – not sure of the actual figure so let’s go with yours 16,000 people who schmoozed, sucked up, lied, etc etc into jobs of authority over more suitable others (the ones who like to refer to themselves as Captains of Industry) are responsible for the bad, stupid or just plain self serving choices they’ve made that have reduced the amount of jobs available in this country – you’re probably one of those of the school of thought that beneficiaries should create jobs out of thin air all because when push comes to shove where are those supposed Captains of Industry oh yeah suddenly they have no answer or are on vacation etc

    • Do you think the social workers will get their bonus payment if a person gets a job as a prostitute?

    • Look I’m sure this isn’t what you mean, but your comparison between menial labour which I fully agree is soul sucking alienating work. But I’m not so sure people forced into providing sexual services for money is equivalent. Workers sell their labour power, their ability to work. Prostitutes sell their bodies as commodities. I would argue that for someone who doesn’t want too, prostitution is far more traumatising, alienating experience. As it transforms not just labour power but the human itself into a commodity.
      Additionally a rise in the number of people practicing prostitution would lead to an increase in competition for clients. This would lead to falls in both price and safety. As in any industry which is engaged in a heightened competition. In some part of the u.s where unemployment has been very high for a substantial period of time. Prostitution even pays less than minimum wage jobs, after all if all those minimum wage workers can’t afford it who can?
      I am very concerned about the safety of sex workers under these conditions, they already have a long history of persecution, it would not be that hard to go back there. Especially as these welfare attacks could significantly damage their small measure of socio-economic (I hesitate even to use this word) equality. I think that these factors justify their special mention as a vulnerable group.
      I do fully agree that no worker should be forced to do a job they don’t want to. But this is the basis of wage-slavery, workers must work under the threat of starvation, this is the choice that the capitalists gloat about, the mighty stick they beat the workers into submission with, the threat of unemployment. However they substitute the word ‘starvation’ for ”leisure’.
      marx pointed out that wages consisted of two components; the biological minimum; which allows workers to replicate their labour power the next day including the raising of the next generation of workers. and the historical component; which represents gains the workers have won from the capitalist during the history of their class struggle, this includes welfare, health care, etc. Our welfare system has been a significant historical wage component which has blunted the capitalist threat of unemployment. The capitalists headed by their representatives (national at the moment), wish to reclaim these wage components in order to reduce the wage of the workers and restore in full the ‘discipline’ of unemployment. When they talk of more jobs it is a blatant lie. What they wish is greater profit through reducing the amount they pay for our labour power also called lower wages. This is their need for attacks on welfare to force workers to accept a lower wage. This requires a greater supply of unemployed who ‘must’ at all cost participate in the labour market, to drive up the supply relative to demand. We have already seen these lower wages in youth rates.
      However the past 40 years has shown that reform cannot lead to the end of wage exploitation or the greatest ‘tool’ unemployment. Every gain made not only since WWII but historically is now under threat from a new wave of capitalists reaction.
      As long as the wage system exists it will be necessary to have a tool to threaten workers into work they do not wish to do that is why welfare reform cannot end unemployment. it can only be ended by the ending of the wage system itself. Thus the watch word of the militant worker is not “an equal days pay for an equal days work” but “abolition of the wage system!” And with it capital itself.

      Sorry it’s so long tell me if it ain’t relevant. I ramble sometimes.

      • David, your comment isn’t so much “irrelevant” as it is “really fucking obnoxious”.

        Characterising sex work as being “different” or “not equivalent” to other work is simply a product of puritan thinking. It’s seriously outdated, it’s hugely rejected by a lot of sex workers, and it does nothing but increase the persecution of sex workers whom you claim to be so worried about.

        As for the way your comment devolved into lecturing Coley about the basics of labour power dynamics, as though she can’t possibly understand how workers are oppressed … well, that’s just condescending bullshit.

  2. If those making the so called rules, act to the determent of a significant proportion of society do they give up the right to be treated as human?

    If those making the so called rules, act like gods in their own world – should we not treat them as the petulant little snots they are?

    If those making the so called rules, can wholesomely say they are helping, have they not perverted everything from morality to decency?

    This is an age were the privileged few use any tool, and any means to hold onto that privilege with both hands – and just like the Nazis in the early 1930’s they begin with the disabled, the poor, the suffering. Who is next? Who is next? What will you do – when you turn around and your the next target?

    • And Godwin’s law strikes again.

      I’m not sure what you mean though about giving up the right to be treated as human.Whatever are you suggesting?

      • How about you read William Godwin then we will talk Gosman.

        That said, this case being a political issue. I think our present government has passed laws which amounts to fascism. And in this case the Italian or Spanish version of Fascism don’t fairly represent what this government is doing. It is the German version which they seem to be more comfortable emulating. Oh and what do we call that German version of Fascism?

        And lets be clear – fascism is radical authoritarian nationalism – and whilst I wouldn’t say the national party are all in this camp, nor ultra-nationalist. They are using the state in a radical authoritarian way which seems to be class based and appeals to national sentiment. That in my book amounts to fascism. So your Godwin’s law crap is just another teabag diversion I’d expect from you – why should I expect any less.

        • Gosman could visit Auschwitz and mention Godwin’s Law as soon as the guides started to explain what the place was about. It’s a phrase he’s picked up but doesn’t understand, which is hardly surprising.

      • Gosman – “Godwin’s Law” does not preclude learning from the mistakes of history. The term itself is fast becoming a lazy retort to valid historical comparisons.

        • Been noticing that myself. Exclaiming Godwin’s Law doesn’t prove the argument suggesting fascism is wrong, it just proves that the person using Godwin’s Law hasn’t got an argument against it.

  3. Politicians are beneficiaries (of tax dollars). Are they drug and alcohol tested before they make their wide ranging decisions in parliament?

  4. Would someone quickly remind the temporary public servants in the Beehive that – (ta dah!) every beneficiary – including those ‘over-paid’ pensioners – pays tax (GST and PAYE) and is a CUSTOMER.

    They are a critical component in the Trickle Down model. Be reminded, troughers.

  5. This is what gets me very ANGRY!

    “When she only 19, Paula Bennett was on the Domestic Purposes Benefit but was able to buy her own house in Taupo for $56,000, courtesy of Housing Corporation loan. Bennett said she’d worked part-time but that she “pretty much fell apart because I was exhausted and I WENT BACK ON THE DPB”.

    “But now she’s a minister it’s a different story” said Harawira.
    “It was OK for Paula to go back on the DPB because it was too hard to survive,but it’s tough luck for her sisters today.
    “It was OK for Paula to get a Housing Corp loan back then,
    but National made sure that it’s no longer available today.”
    “It was OK for Paula to stay on the DPB to raise her daughter, but she’s
    making sure that young woman won’t have that privilege anymore.”
    “It was OK for Paula to get a paid tertiary education back then,
    but not today. In fact she was the Minister who abolished the Training Incentive Allowance.”
    “Paula Bennett basically set herself up in life with direct assistance
    from the state,but now she’s the Minister of Social Development, she’s gonna make sure nobody else can ever get that kind of help”
    “Her hypocrisy would be laughable, except it’s so bloody tragic.”
    Hone Harawira Mana-Te Tai Tokerau MP
    Share this round, so people know.

    I am a Grandmother and have custody of my 10yr old Grandson, who had been mistreated, physically, mentally and nutrutionally. He has been having counselling for 3 years. He is ADHD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and has a lot of social and emotional problems. He needs a lot of loving, nurturing, understanding and patience. (he was a CYPF’s Case)
    I had an appmt at WINZ today and was told that from 10th July I am NOW required to get fulltime employment. (up until now it has been 20hrs per week, until he is 14, which I am doing)
    THE reason I was told I have to switch to fulltime is because He is no MY child and it was MY choice to take on my Grandson.

    • You are a ray of light for that boy and our society should be thankful that you hold hope in your heart for a positive future for him – parenting is hard and when the child is not yours it is ALOT harder (I have been guardian to 2 relatives children so I know) – monetary support is the least our society should offer as help to those in your situation – you are an everyday hero (see Dr Phil Zimbardo’s Hero Project) and should be celebrated also.

      The way I see it the future can be light if we choose to help others
      or dark if we all choose to hinder- it’s that simple

    • The extra special bullshit around that is that it would cost them FAR MORE for you to say “I choose not to then” and force the state to care for him. The problem is they know you won’t, because you care too much about his welfare.

    • Colleen H – if you’re not a member already, get onto Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. They’ll help you fight WINZ on making you work fulltime. Just google them. and good luck.

  6. I am one who knows a fair few affected by this, and one at least, who has already been harassed before, and twice considered seriously to make an end to his life in this shit system administered by WINZ.

    Bennett is evil, she is damned evil, that woman, a liar, law breaker (privacy act breaches years ago), a mercenary, a user, manipulator and one who has forgotten where she comes from.

    She deserves to lose all and become a vagrant one day, I hope she will live under a bridge one day, sleeping in the cold, to be reminded of what she has forced some people into!

    • and one who has forgotten where she comes from.

      She hasn’t forgotten where she comes from at all – she’s just making sure that there’s less competition that can replace her now that she’s had the help that she’s denying others to get to the top. These Randian Super Heroes know that there are people who are better at their job than they are and so they work to prevent those people getting a chance at their job.

      EDIT: Another day in the life of Paula Bennett

  7. It’s a disgusting assault by the wealthy and powerful upon the most vulnerable, and the corporate media,( NZ Herald being the worst) are in collusion because they continually stir the public up, in order to perpetuate the lie that beneficiaries are to blame for NZ’s economic problems.
    Yes there will be a rise in suicides, and other social problems.( At the same time we’ll still see sickening bullshit articles in the paper about how NZ is a great place to live, just to confuse the public who are easily led)
    NZ has always been and still is still a land of plenty, but unscrupulous political engineering has in recent decades been tipping the scales in myriads of ways to favour the advantaged, and turned NZ into a country of gross inequality.

  8. There will come a point at which the masses will welcome any alternative party to the Nats basically because if we’re gonna be screwed like whores does it really matter who the ‘john’ is

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