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Share The Surplus Protest New Lynn Tuesday Press Release: Unite Union

#1 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 08:28 AM

Share The Surplus Protest New Lynn Tuesday
Monday, 13 December 2004, 8:38 am
Press Release: Unite Union

Share The Surplus!

UNITE -Waitemata is calling for all interested groups and individuals to support a campaign to Save the Special Benefit, which will be reduced for many people in 2006, following legislation in the the 2004 Budget .

We are holding a picket outside New Lynn WINZ, 5-9 Hugh Brown Drive, Tuesday 14 December, 11am.


No Merry Christmas For Beneficiaries

Christmas is an especially hard time for beneficiaries. We struggle to afford children’s presents, visits to grandparents, Christmas dinners, or trips to the beach. Yet these are things that most New Zealanders take for granted. In 1991 the Government instigated severe benefit cuts, which devastated the social fabric of New Zealand and have never been reversed.

In 2004 the Government had a $5.7 billion surplus! However, its “Working for families” budget does next to nothing for the families of beneficiaries. Instead, it actively discriminates against us, and introduces yet another benefit cut!


Did you know that the government plans to reduce most core benefits for those with children and the Special Benefit? The Government legislated for this severe Benefit Cut as part of its “family friendly” budget in June this year. In 2005, cuts to the Special Benefit will result in an average of $13.50 loss for those with children because their increased family support will be used in the formula. " (1)

The Special Benefit was designed to meet any essential needs that could not be met by other entitlements. It is a discretionary benefit, and a person may receive as much money as they need. However, in January 2006, the Government proposes replace the Special Benefit with a far more restrictive benefit called “ Temporary Additional Support”. This will be capped at the level of 30% of the person’s main benefit.

For example, consider the situation of a single unemployment beneficiary with very high travel costs, e.g. a person living rurally who has to travel significant distances twice weekly, at cost of, say, $100 per week, to comply with a custody order of the Family Court regarding his or her children.

Under the current Special Benefit regime, a Special Benefit of up to $100 could be paid in respect of the travel costs to the beneficiary described above, even though this is well above the guideline maximum.
In the example above, at current benefit rates, the maximum Temporary Additional Support payable would be $49.25. This would leave the beneficiary with a shortfall of $50.75 in meeting his or her travel costs. He or she would have only $113.31 left to meet all other expenses, including accommodation costs not covered by the accommodation supplement. (2)

Sources:(1) Susan St John, Child Poverty Action Group (2) Green Party information document 2004


Beneficiaries used to be able to receive a Disability Allowance to pay for counselling for as long as they needed it. However now WINZ only provides for 10 sessions, after which the beneficiary must re-apply. This causes enormous stress and financial hardship for beneficiaries with long-term emotional, psychological and psychiatric difficulties.


Most paid workers with families were given significant tax concessions , entitled “In Work Payment” in this year’s Budget. However if you are a paid worker with a family, who also on any kind of benefit; you will receive no tax concessions at all ! This is discrimination! Children of beneficiaries need support just as much as children of non-beneficiaries!


The cuts in the Special Benefit and the Disability Allowance will cause extreme poverty for those of us who are already facing great hardship!

Anybody on a benefit who has high accommodation, medical or other essential costs will be severely affected.

Beneficiaries are struggling every day to live, and to support our families, on extremely inadequate benefits.

We are often forced to choose between paying the rent and bills, or putting food upon our table. If we have special needs such as high healthcare costs, we are in an even worse situation.

Many of us have had apply for “top- ups” such the Special Benefit or the Disability Allowance to make ends meet.

Now the lifeline of the Special Benefit is going to be taken away from us!



The Government is trying to pit paid workers against beneficiaries by lowering benefits and giving tax concessions to workers, at the same time as keeping real wages and real living standards low for all workers and beneficiaries.

In reality we are all in the same boat. Higher benefits mean higher wages.

Many of us are in an out of paid work; and many of us work part time whilst on a benefit.

We are friends and family members, we live and work together. We need to support each other.

Unite! to reinstate the Special Benefit!

Beneficiaries, mothers, students, unemployed and workers Unite! against these cuts.

Unite! against low benefits and low wages!

Unite! for a living income for all workers and beneficiaries!

Raise all benefits at the level of a living wage!

Full employment and Real jobs for all, as of right!

Give the $5.7 billion surplus back to the people!

No corporate tax cuts!

Money for need not for greed!

Money for the poor not for war!

Join your union and pass resolutions supporting the Campaign to Reinstate the Special Benefit. Organise meetings and invite a UNITE! speaker.

JOIN UNITE! the union for low paid workers, unemployed and beneficiaries.

Contact: UNITE! Waitemata Tel (09) 6278655

UNITE! National Headquarters [email protected]

Issued by UNITE! Waitemata December 04

#2 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 13 December 2004 - 09:40 AM

Social Security Privatization is a Trojan Horse
by Allen W. Smith, Ph.D.
December 11, 2004

The Bush administration is gearing up to pull off one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated against the American people. Under the guise of a plan to save Social Security, Karl Rove and company are pushing a scam to destroy Social Security, as we now know it. Although there are multiple motives behind the attack on Social Security, the prime motive appears to be an effort to cover up the theft of $1.5 trillion of Social Security money by the federal government over the past two decades, more than one-third of which has occurred under George W. Bush.

Most Americans are unaware of the fact that the Social Security trust fund is empty. Every cent of the $1.5 trillion Social Security surplus generated by the 1983 payroll tax increase-earmarked specifically for funding the retirement of the baby boomers-has been spent by the government, in violation of federal law, as if it were general-fund revenue. The money has been replaced with non-marketable special-issue government IOUs that, unlike regular marketable Treasury Bonds, have no real value and are thus not real assets. These IOUs are nothing more than accounting entries that tell us how much Social Security money has been taken by the government. They are essentially worthless until and unless the government, at some future time, chooses to enact huge tax increases, or borrow massive additional amounts of money from the public, to repay its debt to Social Security. When Al Gore proposed terminating this practice by putting the Social Security money in a "lockbox", George W. Bush promised to do likewise. Bush further cemented his promise to keep his hands out of the Social Security cookie jar in his first State of the Union address on February 27, 2001. In no uncertain terms, Bush said, "To make sure the retirement savings of America's seniors are not diverted in any other program, my budget protects all $2.6 trillion of the Social Security surplus for Social Security, and for Social Security alone."

During Bush's first term, $509 billion of Social Security surplus was generated by the payroll tax, and every dollar of it was spent for non-Social Security purposes. Most of it was used to fund Bush's unaffordable income tax cuts. As a result of the spending of the Social Security surplus by George W. Bush and his predecessors, Social Security faces a crisis that has nothing to do with the retirement of the baby boomers. The 1983 payroll tax increase forced the baby boomers to prepay the cost of their retirement, in addition to paying for the benefits of people already retired. Contrary to what we so often read and hear, Social Security has not operated on a pay-as-you go principle since 1983. If it had not been for the government theft of Social Security surplus money, the trust fund would have sufficient assets to assure the payment of full benefits until at least 2042. At that point, the youngest of the baby boomers will be 78 years old, and the bubble will have passed through the system. The actuarial problem that would result in having insufficient payroll tax revenue to pay full benefits after 2042, if no changes are made, is a minor problem that can be resolved with minor reforms and modifications to the existing system. Privatization does nothing to resolve this problem.

In 2018, the Social Security program will begin to run annual deficits after 34 years of consecutive surpluses. But that would not be a problem, except for the government theft of Social Security money. The government would just dip into the huge reserve in the trust fund, as provided for by the 1983 legislation, to supplement the inadequate payroll taxes, and there would be enough in the reserve to last until 2042. Now, Alan Greenspan, who helped design the legislation that would require baby boomers to prepay the cost of their benefits, is proposing substantial cuts that would cheat the baby boomer out of part of the benefits that they have already paid for. Most Americans do not yet know about the theft of the Social Security money, and Greenspan and Bush would like to keep it this way. By focusing the nation's attention on a proposed privatization plan, they draw attention away from the unlawful theft of Social Security money. Social Security is not broken and doesn't need to be fixed in the short term. The problem is that the government has removed all the money from the vault and needs to replace it. The privatization proposal is the Trojan horse with which they hope to destroy the current Social Security program before the people wake up to the fact that without the theft, there would be no Social Security problem for another 38 years. Will America become a modern-day Troy?

Allen W. Smith is Professor of Economics Emeritus, Eastern Illinois University, and author of The Looting of Social Security (Carroll and Graf, 2004). Visit his website:


#3 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 12:44 PM

Santa Gives Peanuts To Beneficiaries
Wednesday, 15 December 2004, 11:54 am
Press Release: Unite Union

December 14 -04

Santa Gives Peanuts To Beneficiaries

Santa and Ms Santa handed out peanuts to beneficiaries on Tuesday morning, outside New Lynn WINZ , highlighting that beneficiaries have received “peanuts” from the Government in this year’s budget. The Santas are members of UNITE!, a union for low paid workers, unemployed and beneficiaries .

Several members of UNITE!, and supporters from the Green Party and the Alliance, were protesting the hardship that beneficiaries face at Christmas time; and cuts to core benefits, the Disability Allowance, and the Special Benefit. Janet Bogle, the Vice-President of UNITE! Waitemata, (Ms Santa), said that Christmas is an especially hard time for beneficiaries, as they struggle to afford things that most New Zealanders take for granted such as presents for their children, visits to grandparents, and trips to the beach. “Ever since the 1991 Benefit cuts, beneficiaries have suffered great hardship”, she said. “Now the Government has a $5.7 billion surplus.

They should share the surplus with beneficiaries.” “The In Work Payment in this year’s “family friendly budget is only for non- beneficiaries”, she said.” This is discrimination. “Children of beneficiaries need support just as much as children of non-beneficiaries.”

Ms Bogle said that the Government planned to reduce the Special Benefit, replacing it with a far more restrictive benefit called “Temporary Additional Support” in 2006. “The Special Benefit is a discretionary benefit, and a person can receive as much as they need,” she said. However the Temporary Additional Support will be capped at 30% of a person’s main benefit. Anybody who has high accommodation, travel, or other essential costs will be severely affected.”

Ms Bogle said that the Disability Allowance was also being eroded People who received the Disability Allowance for Counselling, were being made to re-apply after ten sessions. “This causes stress and hardship for beneficiaries with long term difficulties”, she said. Several people coming in and out of WINZ shared their stories with the protestors..

A mother on the DPB said she was very pleased that beneficiaries were getting organised . She said that WINZ was pressuring her to go to work, even though she had young children. She said that it was very important for the children’s sake, that mothers could leave violent relationships, and have a benefit to support their families.

A pensioner said that she had had her benefit reduced for several months without noticing it, because she had omitted to fill in a form. A student said that her family of six,, living on one income, received no family support, and no accommodation allowance, and was struggling to make ends meet. UNITE! Waitemata is calling for unions and community groups to join the campaign to Reinstate the Special Benefit. “We need to support each other,” said MS Bogle.

“ Higher Benefits mean higher wages. We need to unite for a living income for all workers and beneficiaries.” People interested in the campaign, or wanting to join UNITE!, can contact UNITE! Waitemata :

Tel (09) 6278655

UNITE! National Headquarters [email protected]

#4 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 12:49 PM

visit their website:

#5 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 12:56 PM

go here for interesting viewing too

and look at this

Unite recently supported the Maritime Union of NZ (MUNZ) on a picket. Here is a photo of the action, and the text of an appeal Unite! distributed to supporters.

IMHO acclaim groups could consider opening lines of communication with unite

Attached File(s)


#6 Guest_IDB_*

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 01:10 PM

give em a ring, or email them:

Contact Us

Unite! Organizing Centre

Freepost 175-166, Newton, Auckland
Phone: 09 361 6990
Freephone: (outside Auckland)
0800 TO UNITE (0800 868 648)
Fax: 09 361 6991
Email: [email protected]

Auckland Office
Ground Floor, Trades Hall
147 Great North Rd
Grey Lynn

Private Bag 68 905,
Newton, Auckland

Wellington Office
307 Willis St
PO Box 27214
ph: 04 385 2529
Email:[email protected]

Christchurch Office
4th Floor
Trade Union Centre
199 Armagh St
Ph (03) 3668035
Mob 021 119 6861
Email: [email protected]

#7 User is offline   Ivan 

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 02:28 PM

Actually, we already do have some links. I used to be the Vice-President of UNITE, and am still on the Executive. UNITE also represents some Parliamentary Service staff, and I am one of the two Parliamentary Service staff delegates.

Should probably have posted something about this before. I attended the picket at New Lynn Work and Income yesterday - small but lively.

#8 User is offline   MG 

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Posted 15 December 2004 - 04:42 PM

Does Unite have any representatives in Dunedin?

#9 User is offline   fairgo 

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 08:06 PM

Will put this to our committee in terms of contact and cooperative work.
I am always amazed at what comes out of this site. Thanks Guys ;o)

#10 User is offline   Moeroa 

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 12:12 AM

TV3 News Website have the footage up now, and a transcript as well.


Key admits he couldn't survive on min wage
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John Key and Joe Carolan butt heads at the Big Gay Out
View Video

UPDATED: 10:30PM TUE, 16 FEB 2010 8:50P.M.
By Dan Satherley
Prime Minister John Key has admitted to Unite campaigners he could not survive on the current minimum wage.
In a post on the Socialist Aotearoa blog, campaign organiser Joe Carolan describes an encounter he had with Mr Key at the weekend's Big Gay Out.
In footage of the encounter shot by 3 News, Mr Carolan and other campaigners can be seen approaching Mr Key with the intention of asking him to sign Unite's petition for a minimum wage of $15 per hour.
Mr Key responds: "No no no no no no. The advice is there are 100,000 people on the minimum wage. If we rasie it to $15, 9000 workers would lose their jobs… Like anyone, we want them to be better off."
Mr Carolan then asks Mr Key if he could survive on $420, which he says is how much a fulltime worker on the minimum wage takes home each week, after tax.
Mr Key smiles, and as he walks away, he answers: "Not easily. No. That's the answer."
3 News

And if you're on min wage and become injured you'll clear around $326.84 - won't even pay your rent. If you're paying off a student loan... deduct a further 10% and you're left with $334 - that's IF ACC don't find any excuse to deny you cover - ie: your being overweight, ageing, pre-existing cond. is responsible for your disability therefore ...NO cover. Otherwise you're "rehabilitated" into fictitious jobs that ACC know you have no chance of ever getting. If you're in a low paid high injury job, then ACC is what you face.

#11 User is offline   Moeroa 

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:28 AM


#12 User is offline   sunny 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 07:32 PM

View PostMoe, on 24 March 2010 - 01:28 AM, said:

Hi there
Sorry not sure if this is the right place to put this, but couldnt find how to start a new subject
I found this quite interesting, as others may as well
Check out the new site for rateing medical professionals

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