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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news