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Single Benefit Discriminates

23 February 2005

Single Benefit Discriminates

"The Government's proposal for a Single Benefit, announced yesterday, fails to address the basic issue that the welfare system discriminates against individuals who are partnered when they are assessed for eligibility for unemployment, sickness or disability benefits," said Christine Low, National President of National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ)

"Our tax system is regarded internationally as progressive because it is the individual that is the unit of assessment. You are taxed as an individual regardless of marital status," said Christine Low "yet our welfare system continues to discriminate on the basis of marital or relationship status."

The United Nations Monitoring Committee for the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has raised concerns in regard to the economic independence of married women with disabilities. With the lead in for full implementation in 2007 society has been presented with an opportunity to discuss how we treat people in a relationship when they need to seek a benefit due to health, disability or employment issues.

NCWNZ urges the Government to look at the broader issues involved that is the right of all individuals to economic independence, regardless of marital status.

ENDS

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