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WINZ illegally means-tests struggling grandparents

Tuesday, 10 May 2005

Turner: WINZ illegally means-tests struggling grandparents

Christchurch and Rotorua WINZ offices are illegally means-testing grandparents raising their grandchildren when applying for benefits, United Future deputy leader Judy Turner revealed in Parliament today.

She challenged Social Welfare Minister Steve Maharey as to why grandparents were being required to deliver income information when applying for the unsupported child benefit and the child disability allowance, neither of which are means-tested.

"These grandparents have it hard enough as it is, without bureaucracy which has no legal basis, making it even harder for them," Mrs Turner said.

"These grandparents are often coming to the rescue in incredibly difficult family situations at a time in their lives when they have done their child-rearing.

"They have enough on their plate putting the pieces together for often traumatised youngsters, and keeping themselves going with often limited and fixed income, without being victimised for no legal purpose by WINZ," she said later.

Mrs Turner called on the Government to guarantee that it was not going to start means-testing either the unsupported child benefit or the child disability allowance.

"They keep saying they understand the lot of grandparents raising grandkids. It's high time their actions matched their rhetoric."

ENDS

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