Over the weekend Auckland Action Against Poverty held a workshop to devise their next campaign. During the break Spark writer Ian Anderson sat down with Sue Bradford to discuss the history and future of the unemployed workers’ movement.
Spark: How will National’s recently announced welfare reforms affect beneficiaries?
SB: For youths of 16-17 years old it will mean the state, or private service providers, managing their income. My fear with this is that it will be extended to more beneficiaries, as the Welfare Working Group recommended.
For solo mothers it will mean work testing and harassment. In July they’ll be announcing reforms targeting people on the Sickness Benefit.
Spark: Why must all workers oppose these attacks?
SB: The worse it is for beneficiaries and the unemployed, the more competition for low paid jobs, the easier it is to drive down wages and conditions.
The capitalist system needs unemployment. Lately people have been very open about this, saying a certain amount of unemployment is good for economic growth. [Read more...]