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

 


Comprehensive welfare reforms implemented

Hon Paula Bennett

Minister for Social Development

Associate Minister of Housing
 
14 July 2013

Media Statement        

Comprehensive welfare reforms implemented

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says from tomorrow New Zealand’s welfare system will be fundamentally different.
 
“The welfare system will look and feel very different, with new expectations and obligations and a much stronger work focus,” says Mrs Bennett.
 
“The investment approach will allow us to provide more individualised support to people, with a particular focus on those at risk of long-term dependence.”
 
From tomorrow the DPB, Unemployment and Sickness Benefits won’t exist.
 
Replacing a complex system of seven categories are three main benefits:

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.
 
“New Zealanders should know the changes mean we’ll go from having less than 50,000 people on the old Unemployment Benefit to nearly 130,000 on Jobseeker Support, as it now includes former Sickness Beneficiaries.”
 
Jobseekers will have work expectations set depending on their capacity – full time, part time or temporarily exempt through short-term illness for example.
 
From October 2012, changes for sole parent beneficiaries introduced expectations to be available for part-time work when their youngest is school-age and full-time work when their youngest turns 14.
 
“Like most New Zealanders, I think that’s absolutely reasonable and more importantly, it’s making a difference to sole parents and their children as already 9,000 sole parents have gone off welfare into work.”
 
From tomorrow new social obligations also come into effect which require all beneficiary parents to ensure their children:

attend 15 hours a week in ECE from 3-5yrs

attend school from age five or six

enrol with a PHO, Integrated Family Health Centre or GP

complete WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks
 
The changes also require anyone with work expectations to be drug-free, and benefits can now be stopped if people fail to clear outstanding arrest warrants.
 
“Over 40 per cent of jobs advertised with Work and Income require a drug test. We’ll expect people to be able to pass a test for those available jobs.”
 
Specialised Youth Services for teens and teen parents, with the Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment, have been in place since last August.
 
“Community providers have been working intensively with these young people, helping them navigate what can feel like a pretty daunting world, helping them with paying bills, budgeting and parenting and education.”
 
“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.
 
A work bonus is also available from July 15 as an incentive for those who decide to work even though they do not have work expectations.”
 
National campaigned on all of these welfare reforms and is delivering on those promises to New Zealanders.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news