Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Report on underpayment of beneficiaries shocks

Report on underpayment of beneficiaries shocks Citizens Advice Bureau

NZACAB is shocked at the findings of a recent report showing that Department of Work (DWI) & Income owes almost one billion dollars to low-income families and beneficiaries in backpayments, and that currently over 176,000 New Zealand households are not receiving their full benefit entitlements.

The report, Still Missing Out, by Wellington's Downtown Community Ministry, is based on the Work & Income's own figures, obtained under the Official Information Act, and shows that two thirds of New Zealand households receiving the basic accommodation supplement are missing out on their full benefit entitlements.

"Over 176,000 of the poorest households in the country are not receiving help to which they are entitled. There are about 225,000 children - a quarter of all the children in New Zealand - in these households," says Chief Executive Rachael Le Mesurier.

Department of Work & Income figures show that on average each of these households is missing out on $22 a week, over $1,100 a year. In Auckland, where the cost of living is higher than the rest of the country, the average annual deficit for households is around $2,000 a year.

"This report highlights the huge underpayment of entitlements that Citizens Advice Bureaux and other community organisations have been aware of since the 1991 benefit cuts. Bureaux from around the country see many beneficiary and low-income households struggling to meet the basic costs of living because they have not received their full entitlements," says Ms Le Mesurier. "We know that this is a problem nationally, but these figures expose the full extent of the problem.

"CAB's typical experience is illustrated by an Auckland father, with a teenager, receiving $290 a week from DWI. He pays $225 of this to Housing NZ and another $10 loan repayment back to DWI. The remaining $55 goes no way towards covering food and power. Based on the level of rent alone, this father is entitled to a special benefit."

CAB wants the Government to take immediate action to ensure all households get their full entitlements.

"The first step must involve the Department immediately revising its practice so that those who it knows should qualify for a Special Benefit are immediately granted one. Equally, the Department must pay the $200 million owed in the current financial year and begin repayment of the billion dollars by first cancelling any debt owed to the department by beneficiaries. CAB will be advising beneficiaries to go into their local DWI office and ask for a review of their entitlements.

"This would mean that New Zealand families will afford a healthy diet, to heat their homes in winter and to have their kids participate in school outings and sports."

For further information contact Rachael Le Mesurier, 382 8759 (wk), 025 627 0194; Glenda McCallum, Communications Officer, 04 382 8759 (wk), 04 382 9466 (hm); or Ross Bell, Social Policy & Information Officer, 04 382 8759 (wk), 025 294 9722.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election