Parliament

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

 

Report On Beneficiary Marriage Tests Welcomed

Bradford Welcomes Report On Beneficiary Marriage Tests

Green Social Services MP Sue Bradford today welcomed a report that showed WINZ had been failing to implement the proper tests in determining 'marriage-type' relationships for benefit entitlements.

"The review of the Ruka case backs up what people working in beneficiary advocacy groups have been saying for years - that as many as 15,000 people may have been subject to the wrong benefit assessment criteria over the four years 1996 - 2000.

"Many people, mainly women, will have been adversely financially and emotionally affected by the failure of the Department to implement the correct tests and may have been forced to stay in violent relationships as a result," said Ms Bradford.

"The Greens want to see these decisions reassessed under the correct criteria.

"WINZ refused to follow through on implementing this decision and the review paints a grim picture of the operations of the Department during the Rankin era of the late 1990's. The Department refused to change staff guidelines, training, manuals or provide adequate legal oversight," she said.

"This confirms what people working in beneficiary advocacy groups were saying throughout that time - that the Department did not have the will to actually implement the decision."

Ms Bradford said the review calls into question the whole attitude of the Department towards compliance with Social Security Appeal Authority and Court decisions about beneficiaries. Since 2000 there has been a tendency for the Department to try and overturn legal judgements which go against their usual practices.

"This Report also proves that beneficiary advocacy groups have a valuable role to play in providing independent advice and support for beneficiaries which is often not recognised by departmental staff or by funding agencies.

"Beneficiary advocacy groups should have access to core and ongoing funding to help in their work and not have to continue to struggle for recognition and resources," said Ms Bradford.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages