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Single Benefit Dropped?

Monday April 3, 2006

Single Benefit Dropped?

According to Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB, in an interview just published by the Jobs Letter, the Minister of Social Development, David Benson-Pope, was asked what progress was being made on a core benefit structure.

Benson-Pope responded, " (And) while I can't say that we will be delivering a single core benefit certainly the system is going to be hugely simplified."

Asked if he was diverting from where the previous Minister, Steve Maharey, had been heading, Mr Benson-Pope declined to give a conclusive answer saying only that he was delighted with the state of the Ministry he'ed inherited.

Mitchell continued, "He also reiterated his opposition to work-testing, despite last year's Treasury recommendation and the forty six thousand single parents with school-age children only. The Minister said, 'We don't actually try to make people do things, what we do try to do is make sure they have a freer choice about what they do.... So no one's being forced off to the workforce.' "

The Minister also revealed plans to move towards integrating IRD, Housing NZ and Work and Income offices. Mr Benson-Pope said that some Work and Income offices have already integrated Housing and are now trying to convince IRD they want them there as well. It's called the New Service Model for want of a better name, he said.


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