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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news