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

Mana Māori: Kawenata Unites Kaupapa Māori Parties

The Māori Party and Mana Party have signed a historic agreement today to unite Māori politically.

Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan said the kawenata or agreement was a huge step forward for Māori in the lead up to the general elections.

"Today is an important day for the Māori nation because today is when the country's only two kaupapa Māori political parties unite to work tactically together in the best interests of our people," says Mr Morgan. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Turnbull Visit: Leaders’ Talks Cement Trade Relations, Science Agreement

Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation. Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Youth Guarantee: Upskilling Fund Used For Retraining

News that one in five of the people enrolling in Youth Guarantee already hold qualifications at the level they’re enrolling in highlights the failure of the scheme to reach the disengaged young people it was set up to assist, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What Trump May Mean For Us

So far not much effort has been put into tracing the possible implications for New Zealand of the stream of executive orders and tweets that have been pouring from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, we may not simply be drive-by rubberneckers at this car wreck for much longer. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news