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


Maharey's news only tiny part of the solution

Maharey's news only tiny part of the solution

The Labour Party's adoption of the single benefit concept is only the first step in ACT's five-step plan to overhaul the welfare system, ACT Deputy Leader and Social Welfare spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"While this is a step in the right direction, and one that Welfare Minister Steve Maharey has promised since July 2000, on its own it won't do anything to get the 355,000 working age adults off welfare.

"In fact, Mr Maharey's over-the-top promises fly in the face of the Government`s latest forecasts."

The December Economic Forecast Update forecasted beneficiary numbers to go up 28,000, or 9.1 percent, in the next four years.

"On one hand we now have the Minister promising benefit numbers will fall as a result of his more simplified benefit system. While on the other, Treasury forecasts show the numbers will rise.

"Labour is clearly talking this single benefit move up in election-year. However the reality is, over the past 30 years ad-hoc welfare initiatives by both Labour and National have created a growing welfare dependency culture that a single benefit can not turn around on its own

"That is why ACT has been advocating a holistic approach through its five step plan. As well as introducing a single benefit, beneficiaries should be made to reapply for their benefits each year, case management should be more proactive, the work search period should be time limited, and then beneficiaries should be moved into full-time work placement programmes.

"Labour got soft and scrapped work-for-the-dole but ACT believes it's a crucial step into motivating people back into the workforce.

"Labour's merging of the benefits is largely presentational. While it will undoubtedly led to a reduction in bureaucracy, on its own it does nothing to proactively get people back into work.

"The real issue is not what we call benefits or how we administer them. The real issue is how we reduce growing welfare dependency and abuse in these times of so-called record-low unemployment.

"The Labour's Party announcement is only a tiny part of the solution. The bottom line will be whether or not they're prepared to go further," said Dr Newman.

© 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