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 www.workandincome.govt.nz.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news