Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh, so that’s okay, then

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett knew that her social welfare reforms breached the Bill of Rights. Chris Finlayson outlined the substantive matters in a report [PDF].Why exempt a class of beneficiaries who – by definition – are no longer looking after children from work testing, while demanding it of DPB recipients who are still looking after children?

Bennett's response to that report? So what – most people wouldn’t be bothered by it.
I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable.
So much for the Bill of Rights, then. We have a senior minister who thinks that unjustified breaches of the Bill of Rights are fine, provided she thinks that most people are not bothered by them. As someone who holds the Bill of Rights in high regard, I find that stance disappointing. It is a Bill of Rights, but treated as a bill of suggestions.




Blogger Chuck Bird said...

There are two important issues here. Firstly, should the government ignore the Bill of Rights? Secondly, are the issues of discrimination important or trivial?

I have heard some fanatics in the Men’s Rights Movement who claim to speak for men argue ridiculous things in the name of their version of equality. They have argued the women should have to pass the same physical as men for the police force. The have also argued that women should have to compete with men in sport. I would not debate these issues. They are just plain stupid.

The cases of discrimination in this new legislation are no trivial. Chris Finlayson has presented very good arguments why they should not be allowed in the new legislation.

It is not often I agree with Labour but Annette King is right on this one. Unskilled men often may find it more difficult to find employment than women.

March 25, 2010 at 8:27 PM  

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