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

 


Welfare Reforms Pass Into Law


Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Associate Minister of Housing

9 April 2013 Media Statement

Welfare Reforms Pass Into Law

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett welcomes the passing of the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill into law.

“The changes we’re introducing will modernise and simplify the welfare system,” Mrs Bennett said.

“They will also ensure work expectations and social obligations are balanced with the right incentives and support.”

This Bill is the second stage of a comprehensive package of welfare reforms. Three new benefit types will replace the seven current benefit categories, in addition to the new Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment introduced in August last year.

The new categories this Bill creates are:

• Jobseeker Support for those actively seeking and available for work
• Sole Parent Support for sole parents with children under 14 years
• Supported Living Payment for people significantly restricted by sickness, injury or disability.

“The legislation also introduces new social obligations to ensure children in benefit-dependent homes get quality Early Childhood Education, are enrolled with a doctor, get their Well Child checks and are in school if they are school-age,” Mrs Bennett said.

The law will also require Jobseekers to be drug-free, and will allow benefits to be stopped for outstanding arrest warrants.

“Over 40 per cent of jobs advertised with Work and Income require a drug test. It is simply unacceptable that many are unable to work and take up available job opportunities because of recreational drug use.”

An actuarial valuation based on the expected durations of all current beneficiaries shows the lifetime costs to be $78 billion.

The investment approach will target interventions and support to those most at risk of long-term welfare dependence.

“By investing in people sooner, we can actually start to break that cycle of dependence.”

“Jobseeker Support will include those capable of work and those who are temporarily exempt, but will soon be able to work,” says Mrs Bennett.

This includes those currently on the Sickness Benefit, who according to work capability, will have a part-time or full-time work expectation or a temporary exemption until they are work-ready.

People currently receiving Women Alone or Widows Benefit will retain their higher rate of benefit when they transfer to Jobseeker Support and along with those on the DPB, they’ll also retain current part-time benefit abatement rules.

“Benefit rates will remain unchanged and there will be extra support for those who want to work but need more help to get them ready,” says Mrs Bennett.

The current annual reapplication for the Unemployment Benefit will apply to all those on the new Jobseeker benefit.

The changes in the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill will come into effect from July 2012.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news