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

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

War: What’s To Commemorate?

Gordon Campbell in Werewolf: It is easy to know what we don’t want to commemorate on Anzac Day this year...

In fact, is there anything that can be validly commemorated on this 100th anniversary of Gallipoli?

Beyond, that is, a fleeting sense of empathy with the thousands of soldiers killed or wounded on April 25 1915 and in the months thereafter, until the whole thing was finally called off in December 1915.

(Most of the New Zealand survivors were transferred to the trenches in France, and eventually to the battle of the Somme in 1916.) More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Govt Breaks Free Doctors Visit Promise To Kids

Documents obtained by the Green Party show that the Government decided to fund only 90 percent of doctors’ visits for children suffering from an injury in an attempt trim the cost of the so-called “free” visits. More>>

ALSO:

Other Wars: Extension Of NZDF Commitment In Afghanistan

The New Zealand Defence Force’s commitment of mentors and support staff to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy in Afghanistan has been extended out to December 2016, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Auckland Property Prices Increasing "Too Rapidly"

John Key accepted that Auckland property prices 'are going up too rapidly” in a press conference held today in Wellington, however he said that this is not anything new. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: ANZAC PMs Concerned About ISIL Bringing The War Home

Prime Minister Key and Prime Minister Abbott spoke of the bond formed between Australia and New Zealand in the “baptism of fire” of Gallipoli. Abbott stated that New Zealand and Australia’s values and interests are linked, and this is reflected in the joint operation in Iraq which will begin shortly. More>>

ALSO:

GCSB's China Shopping: Key Damages China Relationship

Evidence that the Key Government recklessly approved a GCSB spying operation to intercept Chinese diplomatic communications between offices in Auckland will pointlessly damage our relationship with China, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable. So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news