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Labour cuts bureaucracy for long-term sick

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment

18 August 2008 Media Statement

Labour cuts bureaucracy for long-term sick

The Minister for Social Development and Employment, Ruth Dyson, is welcoming a cut in unnecessary administration for elderly, sick and disabled people.

“Last week the National party announced a policy of increasing administration for those who are sick. Meanwhile, Labour is focusing on working smarter.

“We know that the circumstances of many elderly, long-term sick and disabled people don’t change from year to year,” said Ms Dyson.

“From now on people receiving New Zealand Superannuation, Veteran’s Pension, Invalid’s Benefit, or Disability Allowance will just receive a letter checking that the details Work and Income holds are correct.

“If the information is correct, the person doesn’t have to do anything. Previously they would have to fill in a form every year reconfirming all their details.

“This relieves clients and case managers from excessive paperwork and allows them more time to have meaningful discussions about what support a person may need” said Ms Dyson.

“It is this kind of policy - treating people based on their individual circumstances and focusing support on those who are ready to plot a realistic path back into work - that has led to plummeting benefit numbers, record unemployment and falling child poverty.

“It is ironic that in the same week, National has announced plans to increase bureaucracy, making things more difficult for the most vulnerable in our society, with no indication of how they pay for it”.

“The National party need to face up to the fact that attacking the weak is not the most effective way to make the social welfare system work for New Zealand.”


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