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Win Highlights Anomaly Between Government Agencies

Media Release

15 November 1999


New Zealand First says their recent ‘win’ for a Christchurch foster mother has highlighted the gross anomaly between various government agencies when faced with the Unsupported Child Benefit.

“Foster mum Sarah Collins approached me two months ago because her UCB, in a turn-around by WINZ, was suddenly counted as income, thereby reducing the amount of Childcare Subsidy paid to her”, said New Zealand First MP Ron Mark.

“This practice contradicted the Inland Revenue Department and the Children, Young Persons and their Families Agency, who don’t count this benefit as income”.

“This benefit is given to assist foster families in the very difficult job of raising other people’s children. These families should not be forced to face conflicting instructions from a variety of government agencies.

“It is even more confusing when the Prime Minister, her Social Services Minister and his Associate all disagree with each other on this issue.

“I am thankful that at least Roger Sowry has finally seen sense and overridden his Prime Minister by reversing WINZ’s decision”, said Mr Mark.

“As a former foster child myself I know the value of the work foster parents do and it is pleasing to finally see a positive outcome.”


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