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

 

Parliament: Labour And Greens Sign Historic Agreement

The Labour Party and the Green Party have announced today they have signed an historic agreement to work cooperatively to change the Government. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the parties commits them to working cooperatively to change the Government including closer work at parliament and a possible joint policy announcement or campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Suspend Charter Schools, Not Students

Most of the annual reports of the Partnership Schools already opened have been published today... Some schools had unacceptably high rates of suspensions and expulsions, and about half failed to meet all their agreed targets. More>>

Christchurch Rebuild: 'Third Strike For Brownlee From Treasury'

Gerry Brownlee should be hugely embarrassed that Treasury has given the central city recovery its third fail grade in a row, amidst revelations of further delays to the stalled convention centre project, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. More>>

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland

The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>

ALSO:

Plain Packs Plan: Gordon Campbell On Tobacco Politicking (And The TPP Death Watch)

Has Act leader David Seymour got the easiest job in the world, or what? Roll out of bed, turn on the radio and hmm…there do seem to be a lot of problems out there in the world. Must think of something. And so it came to pass that this morning, David Seymour took up his sword and shield to fight for a world that’s about to be denied the rich and vibrant beauty of tobacco advertising. More>>

ALSO:


RECENT TPP MEETING:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news