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

 


Australian Benefit Reforms Bow to Parents’ Rights

Media Release – Australian Benefit Reforms Bow to Parents’ Rights

December 5, 2012

Palmerston North, NZ – As the Select Committee hears submissions on the proposed Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, which threatens compulsory preschool for beneficiaries’ children and tightens work test requirements for sole parents, similar Australian welfare reforms acknowledge the value of family-based work.

Under new regulations brought in this year, Australian single mothers receiving a parenting payment will be transferred to the lower Newstart benefit when their child turns eight. The Australian government estimates that this will save about AU$700 million over four years.

To be eligible for the Newstart benefit mothers will need to apply for a certain amount of jobs per fortnight and be obviously seeking employment.

“The situation is similar to what we have in the Social Security Bill with increased work test obligations and sole parents being transferred to a jobseeker benefit once their youngest child reaches a certain age,” explains Barbara Smith, National Director of the Home Education Foundation of New Zealand.

“But unlike our Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, the Australian legislators found a way to recognise and affirm home education as a valid parental choice.”

When Australian single mothers expressed their concern about the welfare reforms, employment minister Bill Shorten assured them that mothers who home educate their children will not be forced to put their children in school and look for work under the new legislation.

Home educators on a benefit will be exempt from work or study requirements if they can provide evidence of registration to home educate (where required) or that home education is occurring (where registration is not required). Additionally, their benefit will not be reduced.

“This is wonderful,” says Mrs Smith. “Australia is recognising the great work that home educators do. Every child needs the care and attention of his or her parents, not an endless stream of detached caretakers.

“Early preschooling and schooling is linked to severe social disadvantages for children. But that’s not the only benefit of home education.”

The Home Edeucation Foundation estimates that a home educating mother in New Zealand saves the government up to $8,500 in schooling fees per child per year. If a special needs child is involved, the saving may be as much as $160,000 per child per year.

“The Australian reforms also allow women to put their families first,” says Mrs Smith. “Most of us would be offended if the government told us that women can only hold certain jobs. But that’s exactly what the Social Security Bill does. Thousands of women want to be at home caring for and teaching their children. This Bill wants to tell them that the only valuable work is nine-to-five wage-slavery. Their whanau is not important.”

Mrs Smith believes that welfare reform is necessary. “It’s wonderful that the government wants to address this area,” she says.

“But home educating parents already have to satisfy the Ministry of Education that their home educating program will benefit their children as much as conventional schooling.

“They’re saving the government money and raising secure, responsible citizens.

“Australia has affirmed that and it’s time for New Zealand to recognise it too.”

More information on the bill can be found at www.hef.org.nz.

About the Home Education Foundation

The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 27 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up

Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

ALSO:

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>>

ALSO:

For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On The Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. . More>>

Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget

The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

ALSO:

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>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news