Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Social Services Minister slow to act

Belinda Vernon


National Spokesperson on Work and Income

Sunday 30 July 2000

Social Services Minister slow to act

The Social Services Minister has had eight months to sort out confusion over whether the Special Benefit is discretionary or an entitlement and he's done nothing, National's spokesperson on Work and Income Belinda Vernon said today.

"No-one will believe Steve Maharey's promises today to 'act quickly to clarify' the situation in the wake of a Downtown Community Ministry report.

"The Downtown Community Ministry expressed its concern about the administration of the Special Benefit in a report published in November 1999, released soon after the election of the Labour/Alliance Government. It is now the end of August 2000.

"The Minister's response in the Budget was to remove the $5 deduction from the calculation of the Special Benefit. He did nothing then to address the structure of the benefit or to clarify its status as discretionary or as an entitlement. He has until now completely overlooked the substantive issue.

"The claims of underpayments by beneficiary advocates also highlight the flaws in the Minister's proposals for a universal benefit.

"His universal benefit proposal hinges on discretion to be administered by WINZ case managers. The Minister has said the proposal would increase the discretion of case managers. He is talking about discretion not entitlements.

"If beneficiaries have little confidence in the way the current system of discretion is working now, his plans to introduce a universal benefit supplemented by discretionary top ups will not improve the situation."

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election