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Single core benefit – here we go again

Single core benefit – here we go again

Labour has yet again announced plans for a single core benefit and it is no coincidence that this latest attempt to look busy and caring comes in an election year, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

“This is such an embarrassment to Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson that she buried the announcement deep in a press release, devoting half a line to it.”

Ms Collins says Ruth Dyson hasn’t even attempted to deny this is a cynical election year ploy.

“She wouldn’t even answer my question in the House this afternoon as to whether this will be a true single core benefit, covering all current benefits, as the name would suggest.

“That’s no surprise given that her press statement shows she is all talk and no action. Ruth Dyson’s idea of providing details on the single core benefit is to state that: ‘The Government will remove the stereotyped language and bureaucracy of a bygone era. This will ensure that Work and Income respond to people as individuals rather than as categories’.

“She says Labour will do away with ‘outdated terminology such as “invalid” or the Domestic Purposes Benefit’.

“What absolute nonsense. The trouble with this latest promise is that it sounds very much like Labour’s past announcements on a single core benefit.”

Ruth Dyson wants people to conveniently forget that:

In the 1989 Budget, Labour announced plans to implement a new system based upon the concept of a generic benefit.

Steve Maharey announced in July 2000 that the Government was working towards a single core benefit.

Steve Maharey said in February 2002 (election year) that Labour wanted to introduce a universal benefit during its next term.

In February 2005 (election year) Steve Maharey said legislation for a single core benefit would be introduced that year.

Helen Clark said that same month that the imminent policy change on welfare would slash the amount of time spent on the administration of benefit payments.

David Benson-Pope said in October 2006, that ‘Cabinet decisions on these matters will be announced shortly’.

“This benefit has never been implemented because Labour has never had any intention of keeping its word.

“It has, instead, indulged in a series of feel-good ‘announcements’ designed to make it look busy.

“This latest pledge is no different.”


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