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

 


Welfare reforms progressing well

Hon Paula Bennett

Minister for Social Development

30 January 2014 Media Statement        

Welfare reforms progressing well

Comprehensive welfare reforms introduced over the past year are delivering strong results, says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“We’re seeing positive developments as we implement welfare reforms to help more New Zealanders move from welfare into independence.”

“Our first priority has always been to either divert young people from entering the welfare system at all, or supporting them off benefit quickly,” says Mrs Bennett.

There are currently around 3,000 teen parents and 16 and 17 year olds on benefits, almost every single one is now under money management.

That means a specialist youth provider works with them to ensure their bills are paid directly, before grocery money goes on a payment card, with up to $50 in the hand. They can’t use the card to buy cigarettes or alcohol.

“Evidence clearly tells us young people who go on benefit, are at the greatest risk of staying there long term over their lives.

“Under the old welfare system, a fistful of cash was essentially handed to teenagers – hundreds of dollars – and they were just left to get on with it,” says Mrs Bennett.

Around the world, countries are grappling with the issues of young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training and this Government is focused on solutions that work for New Zealand.

This Government has reached out and managed to re-engage with 9,000 young people classed as NEET and connected them to Youth Services even if they don’t go on a benefit.

“I’m proud to say we now have 63% of those 9,000 young people actually in education.

“The best possible outcome for these young people is to re-engage in education because without that, their job prospects are seriously limited,” says Mrs Bennett.

Other changes to the welfare system include stopping benefits to those on the run from police. Beneficiaries are given fair warning to clear outstanding warrants for their arrest or their benefit will be suspended.

So far more than 1,000 warrants have been cleared as a result of this policy.

A change that was introduced as part of Future Focus reforms in 2010, and continued under the new system, is a requirement to reapply for the Jobseeker Support (formerly Unemployment) Benefit after one year.

Since Jobseeker Support was established in July last year, around 4,500 Jobseeker benefits have been cancelled during the reapplication process.

More than a third of those cancellations were due to the fact individuals had already found work and a further 37% didn’t bother to fill in the form.

Another new policy was designed to incentivise people making the decision to proactively move from welfare to work before they are required to.

The Work Bonus allows people to keep some of the benefit for the first few weeks in a new job.

So far, more than 2,500 people have received the Work Bonus, the vast majority of whom were sole parents moving into work.

“Every week more than 1,500 people move off welfare into work and we’re backing every one of them,” says Mrs Bennett.

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