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


Labour backtracks on universal benefit

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

26 October 2006

Labour backtracks on universal benefit

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says David Benson-Pope has sent the clearest signal yet that the Government's pledge to deliver a universal benefit to welfare recipients has hit the rocks.

"Labour's been prattling on about this mythical universal benefit since 1989. Nearly 20 years later, and following fresh promises in the last election campaign, Labour's now backtracking - again.

"According to Mr Benson-Pope's comments today, New Zealanders can expect to go to the polls again before Labour gets its act together on its universal benefit brainchild."

Ms Collins says she welcomes Mr Benson-Pope's other comments today but suggests some of his initiatives are "blindingly obvious and what the public already expect of Work and Income".

She's referring to announcements including the setting stronger work expectations for clients in some circumstances and offering a Job Search Service for work-ready clients.

"Labour's run out of ideas. Today's over-hyped announcements are a case in point," says Ms Collins.

Timeline for Labour's Universal Benefit:

* Labour announced a plan to reform social welfare benefits and introduce a generic benefit, to be known as the Universal Benefit, in the 1989 budget. The new system was to come into force from 1 April 1991.

* A bill was introduced in September 1990, but because Labour lost the election it was not passed.

* Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said in 2000 that he hoped to have the Universal Benefit finalised by 2002.

* In February 2005, Government ministers approved plans for a new single benefit.

* In July 2005, Hon Steve Maharey referred to the single core benefit being introduced in 2007. 'In 2007, we are going to introduce New Zealand's biggest and most positive social assistance reform since our system was designed almost 70 years ago,' - Steve Maharey.

* Today (October 2006), David Benson-Pope announces plans to delay 'final decisions' on the Universal Benefit until 2008.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


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>>


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>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news