The Government’s employment initiatives led by the Ministry of Social Development must guarantee liveable incomes and fair working conditions, the Green Party says.
“With schemes like Mana in Mahi continuing to grow in size now it is the perfect opportunity for the Government to improve the scheme and ensure everyone is paid at least a living wage from the start,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, Green spokesperson for social development.
“Right now, these schemes led by the Ministry of Social Development do not ensure that people are paid at least a living wage. The incredibly narrow focus of simply moving people into paid employment misses the opportunity to ensure that people are supported into jobs that allow them to live with dignity and fulfill their aspirations.
“The Government has a role in ensuring that people are supported into jobs that pay at least a living wage, guaranteed work hours, union representation and no physical or psychological harm.
“With the rise in rent prices and the overall cost of living, it is difficult to make ends meet on a minimum wage job with no guaranteed hours. People looking for work deserve more than being subjected to the political football from Labour and National on Jobseeker numbers.
“Rather than continuously trading barbs in the House over the number of people on a benefit, the focus should be on ensuring every worker has a roof over their head, good wages and access to abundant kai.
“The Greens are calling for a review of the Ministry of Social Development’s work seminars and employment schemes to ensure that decent work is at the heart. Rather than threatening to cut people’s benefits off for not taking any job, no matter how unsuitable, we need to focus on the strengths of people seeking work,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.