Wednesday, September 06, 2017

More weaponised poverty

National is sliding in the polls, so its kicking the poor again:

National has announced further plans to get more young employed people into work, including training and help to get off drugs but those who refuse it will have their benefit cut by half.

National leader Bill English set out the plan in Invercargill.

The $72 million plan would guarantee work experience or training for under-25s who had been on the benefit for more than six months and rehab for drug users who could not get a job because of drug testing.

Those without children who did not take up offers of training, work or drug rehabilitation would have their benefit docked in half after four weeks.

Russell Brown has already had some pointy things to say on Twitter about the drug rehab aspect - basicly, forced rehabilitation doesn't fucking work, so this is just an exercise in pointless cruelty. Meanwhile, I'm wondering about that "work experience": are we talking real work experience, including the experience of being paid for your fucking work, or are we talking using benefit sanctions to force people into a Warehouse-style forced labour scam? Because the latter is fundamentally immoral. Sadly, "fundamentally immoral" is what we all expect from National on welfare policy. They're not actually interested in helping people, but rather in arbitrarily kicking people off benefits while demonising and stigmatising the poor. As Metiria highlighted, they use poverty as a weapon. And that's not something we should tolerate.