Parliament

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

 

Support for call for emergency benefits discretion

25 July 2001

Greens support call for emergency benefits discretion

The Green Party is supporting a community call for emergency benefits discretion to be given to the head of Work and Income New Zealand, once a Government move to deny benefits to non-resident spouses of New Zealand citizens becomes law.

The Social Security (Residence of Spouses) Amendment Bill passed its second reading in the House yesterday. The Green Party is opposing the bill with the support of the National Party.

"I find it ironic that Labour and Alliance members have to rely on the votes of ACT and NZ First to pass this bill, and I find myself in the unusual position of thanking National for their support.

"This Bill does prevents the spouses and partners of New Zealanders from being able to get benefits if they are sick or unemployed, even if they are lawfully in this country. Once it passes into law, spouses and partners will only be able to receive income support when they have permanent residency," said Ms Bradford.

Ms Bradford said that the actual effect of the Bill would be to reduce the amount of income available per week for people who fall into this spousal category by up to $103 a week for a couple with no children; by $52.35 a week for a couple with one child and by $32.21 a week for a couple with two or more children.

"This may not sound like a lot of money to many MPs and others in professional employment, but to people trying to scrape by on a benefit where every dollar makes a difference, a drop in income of between $32 and $103 a week is critical", she said.

"The Government looks likely to obtain enough votes to make this bill into law. Community groups like the Downtown Community Ministry are proposing a way to help couples who face extra hardship because of this new law: The Chief Executive of Work and Income should have discretion to grant emergency benefits where necessary to people who are legally in New Zealand, but who don't qualify because of the lack of residency.

The Green Party supports giving the Chief Executive of WINZ this discretionary power.

"We are not asking for an automatic right to emergency benefits, but for the Chief Executive to have the discretion to immediately help people who are far from home and who are suffering serious financial hardship because of this new law," said Green Party MP Sue Bradford.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

Biodiversity HiveMind Preliminary Progress Report
Open data report summarising preliminary findings of the Biodiversity HiveMind. Read Progress Report Here>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels