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


Welfare Plans a Step in the Right Direction


National's Welfare Plans a Step in the Right Direction

According to Dr Muriel Newman of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, the National Party's social welfare reforms are definitely a step in the right direction.

"The key issue that we face as a country is how to ensure that welfare support is available for those in genuine need, while making sure that people who are capable of working do so.

"Over the years pockets of New Zealand's welfare system have become very ineffective at assisting beneficiaries back into work. Many of the welfare law changes introduced during Labour's three terms of government - such as removing a work requirement for sickness beneficiaries and extending the entitlement to the domestic purposes benefit - have made the situation much worse. As a result, in spite of a critical shortage of jobs around the country, numbers on disability and sole parent benefits have remained far too high.

"For some years now the OECD has been telling our government that sole parent welfare dependency is the prime cause of child poverty in New Zealand, stating that the risk of children growing up in poverty is three times higher in jobless sole parent families. They have said that our rates of reliance on the Domestic Purposes Benefit are excessive, that the incentives for mothers to move back to work are far too weak, and that New Zealand spends far more than most OECD countries on income support for sole parents.

"National's plan to require sole parents with school age children to undertake part-time work, training or job search will help those parents make the transition from dependency to self-reliance. Given our extremely high rates of child poverty in New Zealand, much more needs to be done - such as capping the benefit to discourage DPB beneficiaries from having more children to escape the work requirements - but at least, at last, it is a start.

"Overseas evidence also shows that the most effective welfare programmes include an annual review process to ensure that the recipients are not only receiving the proper assistance, but that they are legitimately entitled to be on the programme and are making genuine progress in moving off. It is therefore pleasing to see that National plans to introduce an annual review for anyone on the dole.

"For a small country, we have far too many people reliant on welfare. It is long past time that the system was changed so that beneficiaries who can and should be working are supported into the workforce so they can build a decent life for themselves independent of the state", Dr Newman said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog