Reps from Unions, student associations, disability groups and community organisations nailed a summons to the doors of National MP Paula Bennett's Henderson office today, giving her seven days notice of a public assembly where she can meet the people who her cuts affect the most.
Anger at the cuts to the Training Incentive Allowance (TIA) coverage for undergraduate tertiary students who are on the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB), Widow's Benefit, Invalids Benefit and Emergency Maintenance Allowance has been spreading.
"Education is a right, not a privilege" said Joe Carolan from Socialist Aotearoa. "In the middle of an economic crisis, which will see thousands more workers lose their jobs this year, we need more support and training for the unemployed, not less. Speaking as a delegate for the Unite Union, I am disgusted that the Nats are trying to drive a wedge between workers and the unemployed on this issue, by trying to scapegoat beneficiaries and solo mums by releasing the financial details of some of the women taking a lead on this issue."
"Let's be clear on the facts here. The real bludgers in New Zealand are not the unemployed and the working poor, but the idle rich like Roger Douglas, who claims hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars every year, for what exactly? The real targets to blame during this economic crisis are not those workers who cannot find a job, but those who operate and defend an economic system that puts profits ahead of people.
Paula Bennett cultivates an image of being a friendly and down to Earth Westy. If that is true, then we would like to give her a week's notice of an assembly we are holding outside of her office. We're nailing it to her front door today so she can't miss it. Next week, she can come and meet the mothers, the disabled and the unemployed that her cuts are hurting. We hope she shows up, and doesnt dodge the people of her community by running off to another Tory wine and cheese talkfest elsewhere.
See you next week Paula."
To: Paula Bennett
You are ordered to attend a hearing of the people's court to defend your actions in cutting the Training Incentive Allowance and revealing the personal information of the beneficiaries who you are mandated to represent.
The hearing is at 1pm on 8 August 2009
The hearing is at 429 Great North Road, Henderson
You must bring with you and produce evidence of how you intend to ensure that single parents and disabled people will be able to afford tertiary study without access to the Training Incentive Allowance.
You must also bring with you and produce a justification for publishing the personal information of beneficiaries.
You will be given ample opportunity to explain your case, and to hear evidence from the people who want to challenge your decisions.
This summons is issued by Socialist Aotearoa on behalf of the people.
If you fail to attend in accordance with this summons, the peoples court will make judgement and pass sentence in your absence.
More information at Socialist Aotearoa-