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


‘Single benefit’ not simple enough

‘Single benefit’ not simple enough or likely to be fair

Green MP Sue Bradford says a simpler and fairer welfare system would be a great idea, but the Government’s version of a ‘single’ benefit isn’t it.

“The Government should bite the bullet and completely rewrite the Social Security Act 1964 from scratch, not just fiddle around with parts of the system once again,” said Ms Bradford, the Green Party’s Social Services Spokesperson.

“The Greens support the idea of a simpler benefit system because we want to make life easier for beneficiaries, rather than beancounters and bureaucrats. So while we do favour one universal base rate with a second tier of add-ons, we want to see a scheme that is much less complex and with greater discretion for people’s individual circumstances than that announced today.

“The most important thing is that no one should receive less under the new regime, but so far we’ve only got Steve Maharey’s word that won’t happen, there’s no sign of a mechanism to ensure it.

“I am particularly concerned that the discretionary safety net of the Special Benefit is being scrapped and replaced with the much tighter Temporary Additional Support, or TAS, benefit. Just this move alone is likely to undo Mr Maharey’s avowed intention that no one will be worse off.

“This package continues the Government’s ‘Welfare to Work’ focus, which is fine when the goal is getting unemployed people back into paid and meaningful jobs, but is unfair, inappropriate and unrealistic when the intention is to push solo parents into employment when they would rather be caring full-time for their children at that stage of their lives. When is Labour going to recognise that bringing up children on your own can be a full-time job and should be valued in its own right?

“Given the Government’s overall agenda, this single benefit system is also likely to lead to sickness and invalid beneficiaries being more tightly assessed, sometimes by Government-approved doctors charged with pushing people off benefits, as happens now with ACC. Will the Government ever accept that some people are permanently unable to work? Or that people shouldn’t be forced to work when they are sick or injured?

“We urge the Government to be more inclusive in its consultation from here on in, including talking with beneficiary advocacy groups and others at the grassroots level who are dealing with these problems.

“Welfare reform and income sufficiency is likely to be a big issue this election year. Labour doesn’t go far enough and is still stuck in the trap of trying to win the votes of beneficiary bashers as well as of beneficiaries themselves,” said Ms Bradford.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news