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

 


More intensive support through welfare reform


Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

16 May 2013

More intensive support through welfare reform

A further investment of $188.6 million for the next stage of welfare reform will ensure beneficiaries get more intensive support to move from welfare to work, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says.

“The new investment approach introduces a new way of working with people and we’re hiring 354 extra staff to provide intensive help and support.”

The extra Work and Income staff will work with more people, more intensively, providing a new level of support.

The extra funding announced today also includes $16.4 million for the Work Bonus. This enables those on Sole Parent Support or the Supported Living Payment to retain some of their benefit for the first few weeks if they find work.

Of the 354 extra staff, 100 will go into centralised processing roles, 40 into contact centres to ensure people get the best, most efficient service and 214 will be frontline staff in Work and Income offices.

The new approach focuses on three areas:
Work Focused Case Management: intensive case management for people who can work, but are at risk of long term dependence. This includes one on one case management for people with a health condition or a disability who can work.

Work Search Support: seminars and outbound calling for people capable of doing their own job search.
General Case Management: primarily for people who are soon to start work or are preparing to work, including parents.

This new approach means Work and Income will be actively working with 41 per cent of beneficiaries.

Work and Income expects the number of people on benefits to fall by between 28,000 and 44,000 by 2017, resulting in estimated savings of between $992 million and $1.6 billion.

“Savings of $339 million over five years have already been reflected in Budget forecasts.”

Of the $188.6 million in extra investment in Budget 2013, about $174 million is new money, with the remainder from savings and reprioritisation initiatives within Vote Social Development.

This announcement builds on the $287.5 million investment in Budget 2012, which included $80 million for childcare.

“We’ve beaten expectations. Welfare reform has contributed to expenditure being $176 million lower than departmental forecasts in the 12 months to March this year.”

Welfare reforms introduced in July 2013 will:
• Reduce and simplify seven benefit types to three: Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support and Supported Living Payment
• Support vulnerable children by introducing obligations for beneficiaries to have their children:
o attending early childhood education from age three until starting school
o attending school, from age five or six (whenever they start school)
o enrolled in primary health care and completing core WellChild/Tamariki Ora health checks
• Require people with work obligations to take and pass a pre-employment drug test when they are referred to a job that requires them to be drug free for health and safety reasons.
• Stop or reduce benefit payments for people who do not clear their arrest warrants.
• Create a new assessment model for people with a health condition or disability that focuses on supporting them to get suitable work.
“These changes will mean we’ll go from having less than 50,000 people on the Unemployment Benefit to 129,000 on Jobseeker Support,” Mrs Bennett says.

We’ll also see innovative external case management and wrap around services for 1,000 sole parents and 1,000 people with a health condition or disability.

“These changes represent a new way of working with those in the welfare system, which equates to better support to move into work,” Mrs Bennett says.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Funeral In Asia, The Northland By-Election, And News Priorities

Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny lies in Asia, and that was one of Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s rationales for his bungled reforms at MFAT. OK. So, if that’s the case why didn’t Prime Minister John Key attend the state funeral on Sunday of Singapore’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew? More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Not Flag-Waving; Flag-Drowning

The panel choosing the flag options has no visual artists at all. Now, I’ve kerned the odd ligature in my time and I know my recto from my French curve so I thought I’d offer a few suggestions before they get past their depth. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news