Parliament

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

 

Problems Remain With Special Benefit

Sunday 17 December 2000

Regional discrepancies in the granting of special benefits are unlikely to change as a result of new instructions issued to staff by the Department of Work and Income, National's Work and Income spokesperson Belinda Vernon said today.

Ms Vernon was commenting on a report by the Downtown Community Ministry and the Wellington People's Centre that there are significant regional differences in the granting of the special benefit. Variances highlighted include 20% of special benefit applications being granted in Wellington and only 1% granted in Rotorua.

In July the Downtown Community Ministry and the Wellington People's Centre claimed that 170,000 people were not receiving Special Benefit that they were 'entitled' to.

"Back in July the Minister said he would be 'quick to clarify' the situation. But the Minister has done nothing. Instead the Department has issued revised instructions to staff and the problem remains.

"The Special Benefit is discretionary. There is no 'entitlement' per se. The Ministerial Direction, which sets out how that discretion is to be administered, remains unchanged.

"There is just as much room for regional variances under the new instructions as the old. A lot has been made about the change from considering 'exceptional circumstances' to 'individual circumstances'. But the change does nothing to standardise interpretation of what that means. It is not clear how 'individual circumstances' should be interpreted.

"The implication is that the new instructions will make a difference. They won't.

"The new instructions from the Department are merely an attempt to hide the fact that the Minister has done nothing to clarify the confusion that was highlighted earlier in the year," Ms Vernon said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday].

Housing Minister Phil Twyford's office said he would not be commenting on Mr Barclay's resignation as it was an employment matter. Last month, Mr Twyford confirmed that Mr Barclay had not been at work for a number of weeks. More>>

 

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

DHBs "Prepared": Junior Doctors Strike Again

The needs of acute patients will be met during tomorrow's junior doctor strike, a DHB spokesperson says... Almost 3000 junior doctors are expected to walk off the job, which will affect all DHBs apart from West Coast District Health Board. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

Trainers: Taratahi Institute of Agriculture In Interim Liquidation

Taratahi employ 250 staff and this year has provided education to over 2500 students. Taratahi owns and manages 8 farms throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Report: Complaints About Deputy Commissioner Wallace Haumaha

The Authority has found that DC Haumaha acted improperly by approaching staff and others to provide information to support him to refute the allegations about his 2016 conduct, or solicited other staff to do so on his behalf... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels