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

Gordon Campbell: On The Mt Albert Aftermath

Personality politics – Jacinda is great! Jacinda is not so great! – have dominated the coverage of the Labour Party’s fortunes this week...

Still, this is a relatively new and welcome problem for the centre-left. Labour has seemed so bereft of crossover talent for so long that it seems almost embarrassed by this latest development. More>>

 

Conservation: Central Govt Takes Over 1080 Regulation

“This new approach standardises the rules for using such poisons rather than the current system of different rules in different regions. This change will reduce costs and delays for operators, ensure consistent conditions throughout the country, reduce mistakes from misunderstanding rule differences and allow best practice approaches to be used." More>>

ALSO:

Election Entertainments: ACT Has Prison Plan, Greens Have Water Bill

Green Party launches Member’s Bill to protect our freshwater The Green Party has today launched a member’s bill that will keep water from underground sources, called aquifers, safe from pollution and contamination. More>>

ALSO:

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news