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Single benefit hits another snag?

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

27 April 2006

Single benefit hits another snag?

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says it appears a 17-year-old Labour Party plan for a single benefit has hit yet another snag.

"Hidden deep within an otherwise routine statement about Work and Income being expected to help people find jobs, the Social Development Minister has revealed there's another hold-up for the single core benefit plan.

"When this policy was announced we were told the single core benefit was the biggest change in the benefit structure for 50 years and would be in place by 2007.

"Today, the Minister has revealed that he's not even expecting all the relevant legislation to have been before Parliament by then.

"And today the Minister has also indicated that even the name is still being discussed.

"This single core benefit idea was first floated by Michael Cullen in 1989. It was resurrected in the early part of Helen Clark's Government, but was put back on the shelf to gather dust until last year's election campaign.

"The reality is that Labour has been unable to provide any meaningful paperwork on this policy. They have not explained whether it will save one cent or how it will help more beneficiaries into work.

"What we do know is that there have been conflicting stories from the Government about who will be worse off.

"It's becoming patently clear that the single core benefit was only announced in response to National's popular plan for comprehensive reform of the welfare sector. But, like the planned merger between MSD and CYF, it has been poorly thought through with no regard as to how it will work, or who it might hurt," says Ms Collins.


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