A benefit payment for ex-Crims is a human right? Or so the argument goes


The wombles are out in force, now demanding benefits for criminals as a “human right”.

A move to allow probation officers to impose cuts to a person’s benefit if they fail to comply with community work has been labelled by some justice advocates as a breach of the Human Rights Act.

The changes are being proposed under a member’s Bill by National MP Mark Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell says during his time as a former police officer he had seen many people breach their community sentences, and imposing sanctions to benefits provided another tool to enforce compliance.

“This Bill is just very specific and it’s saying that anyone that’s convicted of a crime, anyone that’s actually meant to be in the community doing their sentence and they’re not carrying it out, let’s give Corrections another tool to be able to get them compliant,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Corrections will be able to advise or request [the Ministry of Social Development] to start to either withdraw part or the whole benefit payment for that person until they comply with their community sentence.”

Where would a new report about cuddling crims be without Kim Workman piping up.

Prison reform advocate Kim Workman is highly critical of the move.

“I’ve consulted with a group of ex-offenders and they were very angry with the provision in that it removes, in their words, food from their children’s mouths,” he said.

Under the Bill a person would receive two warnings before their benefit would be sanctioned, either entirely or in part.

For parents who are the sole carers of children, their benefit would be cut in half.

JustSpeak director Katie Bruce said children will fall victim through no fault of their own.

“We have real concerns that this Bill would have catastrophic consequences on really vulnerable families,” she said.

“We don’t think that benefit sanctions are an appropriate tool when the courts have already decided how these people should be sanctioned.”

Mr Mitchell has defended the consequences, saying the responsibility lies with the parent.

“I just will never accept the argument we should remove people’s responsibility and the social contract that they have because there’s a fear that it will impact on the children. They need to be responsible.

“They have to take ownership of that. That’s their decision. No one wants to see children put in a position where all of a sudden the income is cut but the parent’s got to be responsible enough to make the right decisions.”

Mark Mitchell is dead right and Kim Workman is dead wrong.

These criminals have got to learn about consequences. Kim Workman needs to understand clearly that criminals, especially, are entitled to…nothing.


– Newshub