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


Benefit scheme under-delivers - as expected

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

4 May 2008

Benefit scheme under-delivers - as expected

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says the latest sickness and invalid benefit numbers suggest Treasury's concerns about Labour's Working New Zealand reforms were well-founded.

"This $100 million programme has demonstrably failed to reduce the overall number of people dependent on a sickness or invalid benefit."

Treasury papers released last year said that although most of the Working New Zealand expenditure would go on services for sickness and invalid beneficiaries, the Ministry of Social Development is not forecasting any overall reduction in those benefits as a result of the extra spending.

"So it is no surprise that figures to the end of March 2008 reveal that 129,474 people are on either the sickness or the invalid benefit, up from 128,500 in June last year."

In June 2007, David Benson-Pope said all clients, including sickness and invalid beneficiaries, would receive enhanced work support services. In September 2007, Steve Maharey said the Working New Zealand programme meant there would be more support for sick and disabled people to work.

"But the reality is that the decrease in the number of people on the Sickness Benefit has been more than offset by an increase in the number on the Invalid Benefit, which is up 4,000 since June 2007 to an all-time high of 83,350.

"Treasury repeatedly warned that the $100 million Working New Zealand reforms did not offer value for money, and that a significant proportion of the costs would go on benefit administration. This arrogant Labour Government dismissed those concerns and went ahead anyway.

"Labour is spending $100 million, but appears to be getting very little bang for the taxpayers' buck.

"The latest figures confirm that Labour has failed to deliver for sickness and invalid beneficiaries. The Minister needs to explain what has been achieved for all that expenditure, other than more bureaucracy and benefit shuffling."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election