Labour cleverly drop another $570m for newly unemployed Kiwis

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The power of $20B to drop between now and the election makes beating Labour almost impossible.

The sudden rush of unemployment headlines has begun with news this morning that 130 jobs are to be slashed at Mediaworks. Labour’s instincts are to ensure the newly unemployed feel safe.

Those who are already unemployed can go screw themselves and the toxic culture of WINZ won’t change for them, but if you are newly unemployed, Labour has your back…

Income Relief Payment: Tax-free weekly payments of almost $500 announced for workers laid off due to COVID-19

The $570 million scheme, called the Covid Income Reflief Payment, is aimed to help people adjust and find new employment or retrain.

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It will be available for 12 weeks from June 8 for anyone who has lost their job due to the impact of Covid-19 since March 1. It will pay $490 a week to those who lost full-time work and $250 for part-time. The payment will also not be taxed.

…this is so that the newly un employed barely have to even see or interact with WINZ. The Labour leadership knows what a pit of despair WINZ is, so making an easy and streamlined process to gain 12 weeks worth of help with as little WINZ interaction as possible is a smart political move.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Useful move by Govt. but, but and but…
    –the classic “deserving/undeserving” schism is maintained for those in receipt of state payments
    –cowardice still, to take on the structural neo liberalism enshrined in Public Sector since the State Sector Act and the likes of funder provider splits.
    –forestalls what needs to happen–a UBI, Covid fall out is going to be with us for years

    • I think this is a good small step towards a better social security system. I’d love this to be bigger and bolder, but it’s still more than nothing.

      I also think this is very politically astute – start with a step that should be uncontroversial, extend later, go into the election with a bigger policy piece, win the election, and by the time National see the front bench again, it’s the new normal.

  2. When are they going to increase the pension?

    We elders have been left out of any benefit increases for our “well being”since Labour got into ppower.

    But Labour just try to say “you got the electricity subsidy” but that is a pittance as everybody got it.

    ‘Have Labour woken up and seen how the inflation has been increasing lately’ – along with rates and insurance costs?

    “It’s as if elders don’t exist”. – but we are suffering too.

    • The pension is essentially a universal basic income, you can still work and receive it, your partner can carry on working, you can have shares and investments no problems at all and it doesnt affect your base income.

  3. I think think this move is disgusting and more to be expected from National Party ghouls rather than the Labour Party.
    The message is: you lose your job for any reason beyond your control pre COVID19 , well then, that’s your fault, any assistance the Govt provides will be well below poverty levels.
    You lose you job for COVID19, a reason also beyond your control, then we’re going to ensure that you never find out how badly we treat those in the earlier category.

    This initiative is all about deceit.

    • I agree. It just goes to show who Labour want to represent. This is bullshit. A sharp drop in income (Robertson’s words) while your partner’s on up to $104,000 per year? Can’t have them cutting back on their trips to the snow, after all. What about no decent income at all to start with? They can suck a kumara, I suppose.
      This decision tells me what’s wrong with Labour in a fucking nutshell. They don’t give a fuck about ordinary workers, and even less about beneficiaries. They’re after the young professional vote. It’s a cold calculated move and a smack in the face for anyone who actually needs financial support.

  4. Introduce a UBI….simple….close down the best part of WINZ/MSD and a fair bit of the IRD (if they make the tax code simpler for the 70% who simply work and have no investments and little/no interest from savings and/or shares).
    If not now, then when Jacinda???????

  5. There should be NO special treatment of unemployed for different reasons. For some it is COVID19, for others a restructure or receivership, for yet others it is sickness or injury that may lead to unemployment. To create a sub-class of supposedly more deserving beneficiaries creates envy, distrust and other issues within society. To cushion the middle class workers from the nasty reality of unemployment for the ordinary folk is buying into the National Party way of thinking, thus denying the apparently less deserving the same as what the more deserving get.

    Labour have shot an own goal with that, perhaps NZ First had input in this also.

    Now is the time for those others to demand the same higher benefit as COVID-19 unemployed will get!

  6. More than $11.7b for the part-time unemployed for 12 weeks.
    The poor and impoverished get $4.8b over 12 months because theyre unemployed too.

    1. Is that legal?
    2. Is that discriminatory?
    3. Is it an election Bribe?

    • As an expat kiwi that appreciates Kiwi greatness can I please make one request of Kiwis fleeing the dumpster fire they’ve created before coming to Australia? Don’t bring the shi1tty politics & “ideas” that got you into this mess with you. Beneficiaries count on kiwis working! Thanks.

      If you truly care about beneficiaries and the “issues” you so “passionately” care about, see the bigger picture. By destroying the jobs market you take the tailwind out of the GDP & replace it with a headwind. This inadvertently creates more poverty and suffering in the long run.

      My heart definitely belongs in New Zealand, if the libtards don’t destroy everything I see myself spending my twilight years there.

  7. Maybe this dichotomy will become a lead in to dismantle Winz and start again? Obviously Jacinda is well aware of WINZ shortcomings.

  8. Take note this $494.00 goes to anyone laid off since the 1st of March even if you are in a relationship and if your partner is still working the unemployed partner gets it.
    This is as you say more of the deserving / undeserving bullshit.

    Meanwhile as I posted last week people with long term illnesses are still being screwed by being refused a slp .

    Hence why I have this campaign going ;
    watch the movie on NZ ONSCREEN “someone elses country”

    Check it out on Under Funding of Medicines By Pharmac
    THIS BELOW i copy and pasted from my group page and it has gone to Duncan webb my labour MP;

    Start
    UPDATED _______Questions ________to be asked while unemployed Re funding of medicines and healthcare add them here to add them to a possible survey.

    Take NOTE the questions have been rephrased.

    This is why I say only targeting medicines funding is only HALF OF THE MEDICINES FUNDING PROBLEM.
    This is why I say we need a MULTI TARGETED APPROACH.

    I would not be surprised one bit, if half the unemployed are people in a relationship, WHO ARE REFUSED A BENEFIT of any sort including the supported living payment.

    Due to the restrictions in place which allows you to have or not have the slp or Jobseekers.

    How many of them are unable to buy all their meds every week or even the doctor or xray or whatever, that had to be paid for that you would get paid for, if you were under ACC care or benefit because of not enough money.

    This discrimination due to relationship status has to be brought to an end.

    In my opinion it is a breach of Article 25 of the Un Human Rights Act .

    Denial of healthcare and welfare due to economic status.

    We hear of chemists saying all the time of people not being able to afford even funded meds let alone unfunded meds.

    Then we have the waiting lists to get into the hospitals etc.

    I my opinion we need to start the discussion to turn ACC into a full blown MEDICARE AGENCY that covers ALL LONG TERM ILLNESSES no matter how they are occured.

    I suggest we get a survey done and measure the following.

    UPDATED QUESTIONS WE NEED ANSWERS TOO:

    1 what % of the population is in a relationship with a long term illness .

    2 what % of the population that is in a relationship is having trouble funding funded meds ( Not all towns have a countdown or Bargain Chemist with free prescriptions).

    3 what % of the population that is in a relationship is having trouble funding unfunded meds.

    4 what % of the population that is in a relationship has applied for a Pharmac statutory authority and been refused funding.

    5 of that % of the population (Q4) that have applied for a statutory application. How many applications in total has their doctor applied for and been refused.

    6 How many people with long term illness have been refused the supported living payment benefit.
    6a- What was the reason for Refusal

    7 How many people with long term illness after being refused a supported living payment have been refused the Jobseekers benefit due to being above the relationship income limit.

    8 How many people with a long term illness that’s not recognised as a “long term illness” have been refused an SLP
    8a What was the illness you have they refused the application for slp.
    8b How many people with a long term illness that’s not recognised as a “long term illness” have been refused the Jobseekers benefit due to the relationships rule limits.

    9 How many peoples medicines costs are above the disability allowances maximum Level.

    10 Due to the new Responsible lending laws, how many people with funded or unfunded medicines, are not going to be able to access the number of loans they could previous to June 1st 2020 , to pay for their medicines after the new law comes into effect on June 1st 2020.

    Lets face it all winz benefits for anyone with a long term illness are inadequate anyway.

    They are nowhere near enough to pay for your medicines as they only pay a %.

    The disability allowance was originally intend only to pay for travel to your doctors and doctors fee’s it was never intended to pay for Medicines.

    Even if you make a statutory application to Pharmac to get a medicine funded, there is absolutely no guarantee you will be funded, no matter how many applications your Doctor or specialist makes.

    So what does everyone think.

    LETS CHANGE THE NARRATIVE !!!!!!!

    Any other questions you can think of we should ask ?

    THIS IS ANOTHER PRONG TO BE USED IN THE TOTAL ABANDONMENT OF THE RELATIONSHIPS RULE and to get long term illnesses and medicines funded.

    IT IS TIME TO STOP BEING NICE.

    end

    https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/welfare-relationship-policies-must-change?

  9. On one occasion I had a WINZ case manager chew gum while interviewing me (with her mouth open like an ill-mannered child) and on another tell me out of nowhere that I need psychological help (I’m still trying to come to terms with this sociopath and her comment). I recently had $125 disappear from my weekly allowance for no reason (of $340, which payed for rent, food, power and everything else) and it has been more than six weeks since lodging my complaint with Minister Sepuloni’s office to find who authorized and deducted the money, but still no reply. I’m not surprised Robertson wants to distance his constituents and newly minted unemployed from his people at MSD.

  10. This payment takes us to the Sept election and many on this feed say National is the party of pork barrel politics. How can anyone say this is fair. If there was anyone in the Labour cabinet that knew about how business works many laid off in Feb was because owners could see what was going to happen and moved quickly to try and save their business

  11. I have been writing to politicians about this situation for years – my wifes income means I dont qualify for any assistance. Im disabled and cant work.
    Recently she left her job because her boss was bullying her and this was just before lockdown so no special treatment from WINZ, I was put on Supported Living Payment and TAS to cover a vehicle we were paying off. It was about a hundred less than this new benefit scheme.
    My wife just started a new job she had applied for before the lockdown, had the interviews during lockdown and started yesterday. My benefit has been suspended. Her new job is less than $2000 a week.
    This blatant double standard just isnt right.

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