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


Changes To Benefit System Bad Move

Changes To Benefit System Bad Move

February 22, 2005

The government's plan to introduce one single benefit is par for the course - if you can't solve a problem, bury it.

"I have myself suggested one single benefit for all fit, working-age people. It should be called the dole and it should be temporary. But this is a far cry from one open-ended single benefit for all, regardless of the reason why the recipient can't or won't work," Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB said today.

"This move will reduce transparency. It will be far more difficult to identify trends and problems. Under the present system we are able to quickly and easily identify that while unemployment has dropped, more individuals, including single parents, are now on other benefits."

"We are told this move is an administrative simplification. It will save the taxpayer money and free up case managers to work more intensively getting beneficiaries into work."

"However, the first (or second, third, fourth etc) benefit application still has to be processed. Many people think the beneficiary pool is fairly static. In fact, it is dynamic. For example, WINZ processes around 40,000 applications each year for the DPB. "

"The main existing add-ons remain - family support, accommodation supplement, child-care and OSCAR subsidies. Then there are new allowances replacing the existing ones. The In-Work payment replaces the Child Tax Credit and the new Temporary Additional Support replaces the Special Benefit. The maze of entitlements still has to be worked through."

"The claim to simplification is very shaky indeed."

"At the moment we have 320,000 working-age people on various benefits. That is reprehensible with such a strong labour market. BUT at least we can identify where the problems remain; which groups have longer durations dependent on welfare; which groups have dependent children; which groups present the biggest challenge."

"What the government is billing as the biggest change to the social security system for seventy years is nothing of the sort. It is no more than an ill-advised but potentially dangerous move."

"The biggest change we could make would be to return welfare for healthy, working-age people to being temporary assistance only. Anything else is wasteful window-dressing."

Lindsay Mitchell petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB forms available from www.liberalvalues.org.nz contact dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Cyclone Gita: Metservice Forecasts Gita To Impact New Zealand - Be Prepared

Cyclone Gita is expected to approach New Zealand from the northwest early next week. There remains some uncertainty with regards to the speed and track of Gita, but the passage of this system across New Zealand on Tuesday and Wednesday is likely to bring a period of highly impactful severe weather.

People should be aware of the potential for coastal inundation, especially where high waves,low atmospheric pressure and strong onshore winds come together ... More>>




Commerce, Etc: Thicker Bright Line For Real Estate

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.More>>


Prison Inspections: Reports on Manawatu and Paremoremo Released

The Office of the Inspectorate today released reports into Manawatu Prison and Auckland Prison (Paremoremo), the first two resulting from a programme of inspections of New Zealand prisons. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Leadership Contest

National needs a new leader able to: (a) compete with, undermine and defeat a currently popular and politically adept Prime Minister; (b) define whether National now sees itself as being a traditional conservative party or a modern neo-liberal one; (c) devise a strategy that addresses National’s chronic lack of a viable coalition partner More>>


Whistle Blowers: Government To Review Law On Protection

Work has begun on a review of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Christchurch: PM Launches 100% Electric Car Share Offering

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest deployment of pure battery electric cars and largest pure EV car sharing model was officially launched in Christchurch today by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. More>>


Carer Pay Equity: Mental Health And Addiction Workers To Be Included

Dr Clark met yesterday with unions and employers to confirm the Government has agreed to negotiate an agreement to extend the Care and Support Pay Equity Settlement to mental health and addiction support workers. More>>


Hybrid Plan: America’s Cup Village Proposal Released

The proposal incorporates elements of the Wynyard Basin option, agreed by the council in December and publicly notified last month, and the Wynyard Point variant explored by the Government. More>>


Sallies' State of the Nation: Poorest Left Behind in Economic Boom

This year’s report shows that for many New Zealanders incomes have hardly moved, welfare needs have increased and rents are rising faster than incomes. This comes despite more jobs being created and GDP rising... More>>





Featured InfoPages