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

 


Encouraging sole parents into higher study

10 June 2014
Media Statement


Encouraging sole parents into higher study

Budget 2014 will make it much easier for sole parents to move off benefit and into full time study announced Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment and Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Development.

The Government is investing between $18 and $24 million over four years to implement three policy changes that will align the student support system for sole parents with the benefit system.

It is estimated the changes will see around 3,000 more sole parents move into fulltime study over the next four years, adding to the 2,400 currently accessing mainstream student support.

From July 2015, sole parents taking up full-time study will receive at least the same level of accommodation support from the student support system as they do with the benefit system. Currently they may receive up to $165 less per week.

The Government will also be amending the rules around child support and voluntary arrangements which can be affected if sole parent students need a benefit during academic breaks.

Changes to legislation will be introduced to allow sole parent students’ child support arrangements to continue while they temporarily claim a benefit.

In addition, the stand down period for sole parents needing a benefit over summer will also be abolished.

“It makes sense to invest in education for more sole parents. We know that a sole parent with no qualifications spends on average around 17 years on a benefit at a cost of $230,000 over their lifetime. That’s compared to a sole parent with a tertiary qualification spending seven and a half years less on benefit, costing $88,000 less over a lifetime,” says Mrs Bennett.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce says the initiatives will have big benefits for those who take advantage of them.

“We know that people with qualifications have better life outcomes – they are more likely to be employed and earn more, to live longer, and to be happier and healthier. That’s why making it easier for sole parents to make that choice to study and move off benefit is such a priority for this Government,” says Mr Joyce.

Research shows that sole parent beneficiaries who completed level 1-3 qualifications were five per cent more likely to be employed within five years of starting their study.

Those completing level 4 qualifications or above were between 9-19 per cent more likely to get work within the same period.

“Some of these changes require legislation. We will introduce the higher rates of payment for accommodation support by July 2015. All other changes should be in place by the end of 2016, ensuring that sole parents in the student support system receive a consistent level of assistance over their summer break,” says Mr Joyce.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news