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Maharey Outlines Welfare Reform Principles

Where To For Welfare? - Maharey Outlines Reform Principles

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey outlined the six key components of the Government's welfare reform programme during a presentation to the influential Sydney Institute this evening.

Providing a system of social security which offers protection while giving incentives for people to move to economic independence and security is the underlying principle of the Labour-Alliance Government's approach to welfare.

Mr Maharey said that the Government was committed to fully utilising the skills of unemployed New Zealanders as part of the effort to transform our economy and society.

"The Labour-Alliance Government was elected on a pledge to rebuild opportunities for all New Zealanders to participate in the mainstream of our society. We are determined to use social policy as one of the key drivers of economic and social transformation.

"By contrast, right wing approaches to welfare are all about reasserting notions of the deserving and undeserving poor. We need to get past this silly debate if we are to build a prosperous and secure nation.

"Our approach to reforming New Zealand's antiquated social security system focuses on six key components:

- building a simpler benefit system;

- Making work Pay and investing in people;

- supporting families and children;

- building partnerships with the community;

- outlining mutual responsibilities; and

- tackling poverty and social exclusion.

"By adopting this kind of social development model the Government plans to harness the welfare system to become one of the drivers of social and economic transformation," Steve Maharey said.


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