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

 

Benefits: people with disabilities could suffer


Single benefit system - people with disabilities could suffer

The Labour Government's single benefit system proposal is a good idea, but the Alliance is concerned about the impact it will have on people with disabilities.

Alliance Disability Issues spokesperson Chris Ford says Steve Maharey's proposal has been long vaunted as a good idea to clean up the anomalies in the benefit system, of which there are many.

“However, there are obvious downsides to a unitary system, in that the needs of different beneficiary groups could be overlooked, even with the proposed clip-on system," he says. One of the most overlooked groups could be people with disabilities, who face higher living costs. According to Mr Ford, who has cerebral palsy, many people with disabilities have to pay higher costs, such as additional heating or wear and tear on clothing, while either not in paid employment or only working part-time.

"The unitary system will rely on one base benefit rate and we don't know what the eventual rate will be. Our fear is that it will be set too low, given that the Government is looking at getting more people into work and given their reliance on New Right theory that market forces should drive labour market supply."

Mr Ford says that while the Alliance applauds efforts to help people with disabilities find meaningful employment in the open workforce, this should not be at the expense of "pushing some people into work before they are ready”.

He says many people with disabilities are still encountering barriers to employment, even with unemployment falling.

"So the Alliance's challenge to Steve Maharey and Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson is this - where are they going to find the employers who will offer jobs to people with disabilities? We think they should remember the National-New Zealand First coalition's disastrous efforts to force workfare policies onto sickness and invalids beneficiaries back in the 1990s."

An Alliance Government would provide benefits at the level of a living wage to those people with disabilities who cannot work and would provide an adequate income to those who can work through fairer abatement rates. The Party would also abolish means-testing or work-testing of benefits.

"Overall we would like to see as many people as possible transition off invalids and sickness benefits. However, this can only be done in an economy where there is genuine full employment with fair conditions and rates of pay," Mr Ford says.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election