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


Working for Families freephone gets 42,000 calls

27 September 2004

Working for Families freephone receives 42,000 calls

Work and Income’s freephone line has been well used since a publicity campaign began in August to encourage people to find out what they are entitled to from the government’s $1.1 billion Working for Families package.

Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said that 42,000 calls had been received since Working for Families was announced in May, with over 30,000 of those calls coming in since the nation-wide publicity campaign started.

“I’m pleased that the publicity has generated such a lot of interest as so many families stand to benefit from the package. I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet checked their entitlements to do so before 1 October. People should apply as soon as possible, as Work and Income cannot backdate payments.”

Announced as part of Budget 2004, Working for Families will provide extra income assistance to almost 300,000 New Zealand families by 2007/08.

With the October 2004 changes it is expected that 5,700 newly eligible households will take up the Accommodation Supplement and 5,600 more families will receive the extra childcare assistance that becomes available at the start of October.

Families who become eligible for assistance for the first time need to apply for it as neither Inland Revenue or the Ministry of Social Development hold the information that would enable them to identify newly eligible households. Exisiting clients of IRD or MSD who qualify for increased assistance will be directly contacted by letter.

The first Working for Families changes will: (from 1 October) lower the entry thresholds at which people not on benefits qualify for the Accommodation Supplement (from 1 October) remove abatement of the Accommodation Supplement for people on benefit and NZ super until they move off benefit (from 1 October ) increase the threshold at which the Accommodation Supplement starts reducing for people not on benefit (from 4 October) increase and standardise the hourly subsidy rates for pre-school childcare and for OSCAR (Out of School Care and Recreation). In the past, the OSCAR rate has been well below the pre-school rate, making childcare a less affordable option once a child starts school (from 4 October) increase the income thresholds for childcare assistance.

Work and Income’s free-phone number is 0800 774 004, and more information can be found at


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

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.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election