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


Is The Welfare Safety Net Starting To Slip?

Is The Welfare Safety Net Starting To Slip?

“The widening gap between those reported to be without work and those who are receiving benefits along with the increasing demands placed on community organisations to provide emergency support may be pointing to a slipping welfare net”, says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). “The release today of the 14th Vulnerability Report indicates by the third quarter of last year the numbers of people on benefits had dropped across most benefit groups, yet the number reporting they were unemployed had grown by 19,000 people. In most areas the demands on emergency assistance and on ongoing basic support needs had reached new record highs.”

“The biggest recent changes that are likely to affect benefit take-up and demand for social services is the tightening of access to social welfare as the Welfare Reforms take effect,” said McGlinchey. “We are monitoring the effect of these Reforms on our community social service agency member network. While it is still early in the implementation period, there appears to be some increases in demand for services as people find the benefit support, which was once an integral part of New Zealand’s welfare net, harder to get. At this stage it may be as a result of the welfare changes going through a settling in period – or it may be that some of our most vulnerable citizens are no longer getting the support we expect for our fellow New Zealanders”.

“NZCCSS members and other community organisations are already struggling to meet present levels of demand. The further big Welfare Reform changes expected this year may result in some people not being able to get the assistance they need,” said McGlinchey. “If this happens we will see more families and individuals losing their homes, becoming unwell, not being able to access healthcare, unable to buy sufficient food, and in children moving from school to school as families seek emergency housing. We know that this is bad for our society and, as people and families in these situations require intensive and expensive ongoing support to get back on their feet, it is also bad for our economy”.

“The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services urges Work and Income to take a very supportive approach to implementing the Welfare Reforms and to ensuring that their clients’ wellbeing is paramount”, said Rod Watts NZCCSS Board Chairman. “NZCCSS social service organisations will do their best to support vulnerable members of our communities, but we cannot replace the government in ensuring all New Zealanders have their food, housing, energy and other basic needs met”.

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services



© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Climate Talks, Immigration And Housing: PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference

Prime Minister John Key began by talking about his recent attendance at the APEC and ASEAN summits. He segued neatly from the opportunities available in Vietnam to outlining his upcoming itinerary which includes Malta, Paris and Berlin. More>>


After Urgent Law Change: Beneficiaries Urged To Act Immediately

I am hoping that thousands more people will be enabled to lodge their review... people without internet, who don't even realise that this has been happening. If just a fraction of the people on facebook can help others to put in reviews tomorrow it could improve so many more peoples Christmas. More>>


Auckland: Phil Goff To Run For Mayor In 2016

Phil Goff has today announced his decision to stand as an Independent candidate for Mayor of Auckland next year... As Mayor, Phil Goff will focus on a number of issues that directly impact on the lives of Aucklanders, including tackling traffic congestion and increasing the housing supply. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Mike Moore To Step Down As US Ambassador

Yvonne and I are giving notice to MFAT that we will be leaving the Post just before Christmas on the 16th December... I am now the longest serving continuous Ambassador to the US. I didn’t seek this job but felt I should do it because great issues were at stake. The time was ripe for it. More>>


Fox Glacier: Seven Dead In Helicopter Crash

The operation to recover the victims of Saturday’s helicopter crash at Fox Glacier is a technically challenging task calling for specialist skills in an unforgiving environment, says operation commander Inspector John Canning. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news