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

 


Reforms Impacting on Vulnerable People and Service Providers

12 January 2011

Reforms Impacting on Vulnerable People and Service Providers

The increasing hardening of access to government benefits and housing is resulting in higher levels of vulnerability and more people wanting services from social support organisations. The latest New Zealand Council of Christian Social Service (NZCCSS) Vulnerability Report indicates that in the quarter ending September 2011 most NZCCSS members experienced another strong increase in demands for their services.

The changes in benefit eligibility and access to state housing in particular seem to have been having a large impact. “There has been a large drop in the number of hardship grants – including for food and benefit advances to help pay for power. This appears to be a direct result of the requirement to get budgeting advice if you need to get more than three grants a year”, said NZCCSS Executive Officer, Trevor McGlinchey. “Community social service providers have been coping with a surge in budget advice referrals, and while some areas in Auckland had a drop in demand for food parcels many others have had a marked increase in requests.”

The Future Focus Act, which has hardened up access to benefits and other support, has resulted in over 5,000 Domestic purposes beneficiaries and almost 7,500 unemployment beneficiaries having their benefits cancelled. A further 120,000 referrals were made to budgeting activities. The Ministry of Social Development has not reported on what has happened to these individuals and families as a result of their benefits being cancelled.

“Almost all of our members and many other service providers are reporting that more and more people are requesting support”, said McGlinchey. “There has been an increase in people needing emergency support, with more families turning up at soup kitchens or seeking counselling”.

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) is no longer allowing people with low or moderate needs onto their waiting lists and is actively counselling all applicants to look for private rentals. “There is real pressure on emergency accommodation providers across New Zealand, with no members reporting empty beds and with many who have extensive waiting lists,” said McGlinchey. “The changes in approach by HNZ means that many people previously considered high need are no longer in that category, they are now stuck in overcrowded situations are living in motor camps or boarding houses.”

“The social services sector is really feeling the pinch at this time”, said McGlinchey. “Providers of Social Services did not receive a cost of living increase to their contracts in the last government Budget. This must be addressed in the upcoming Budget so that the present levels of services can be maintained and New Zealand’s vulnerable families can receive the support they need”.

Vulnerability Reports will only be published on-line with printable versions downloadable from the www.justiceandcompassion.org.nz website.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Statistics, Homelessness, Privacy: Auckland City Mission Data Joins Govt Research Database

    For the first time, data from an agency outside government, Auckland City Mission, will be included in Statistics New Zealand’s vault of information for researchers. Data from the Auckland City Mission is going into the “Integrated Data Infrastructure” or IDI. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news