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Welfare Reforms Progress

The Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill completed its second reading by 61 to 60 with National, ACT and United Future supporting this evening in Parliament.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the Government was introducing the most comprehensive package of welfare reform in decades.

The bill would consolidate the number of benefit types and introduce social obligations on beneficiaries

This would include the requirement for beneficiaries to enrol children in pre-school education and have immunisations.

The committee made changes to the bill to allow those who wished to home school their children to do so with certain conditions.

Bennett said the changes were in line with National’s philosophy that those who can work should.

She said as a beneficiary, National’s philosophy was a greater motivator to her than Labour’s

Labour’s Jacinda Ardern said the Minister had used her personal experience on a benefit, but the fact was that she had reduced the opportunities available for people in the same situation now.

Labour believed the welfare system should be there for people when they needed it, but the reforms were more about posturing with changes announced whenever the Government faced bad headlines.

Following the vote MPs went to the dinner adjournment and are due to debate the second readings of the Local Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) and Marine Legislation Bill.


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