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

 


Appalling Processes Faced By Benefit Applicants

Appalling Processes Faced By Benefit Applicants

Graham Howell, spokesperson for the Benefit Rights Service expresses concern at the appalling processes Work and Income have with regard to applicants for a benefit proving who they are. Two of many situations described below.

Currently, young people who have lived at home and whose parents have been receiving the Family Tax Credit have to jump through amazing hoops to prove they exist. The Department should have their birth certificates but don’t have wit or desire to find the document on their files and help the applicant. The result is begging on the streets ad/or couch surfing. If a new birth certificate is needed Work and Income has the ability to assist getting this, and in fact this assistance is non-recoverable but they almost never ever offer to help get this.

Mr Howell also points to newly-released prisoners. If people are held for more than four weeks they might receive what is called Steps to Freedom. This can be up to $350. However, the main benefit does not start for two weeks after application so in effect the $350 is meant to last for the first two weeks after they are released. $350 for two weeks is not much. The problem though lies with ex-prisoner’s identification. These people often do not have a passports or drivers licenses or even birth certificates. It is dumb logic though to say that the state has held these people in prison without knowing who they are and that, after they have come out of prison, for the state to claim not to know who they are.

This is not only dumb logic but it is an abuse of the ex-prisoner’s rights under section 27 of the Bill of Rights Act.

In fact, Mr Howell argues, that unless the person has a job, then the benefit should start automatically on release without the need for the usual one-week stand-down, the benefit paid one week in arrears and the need for full ID.

The nonsensical bureaucratic standards are leading to extreme hardship and are likely to lead to further criminal or anti-social behaviour from people trying to survive on fresh air.

The ID processes need up-grading to ensure the different parts of the state talk to each other so that hardship is reduced, not exacerbated. If the arms of state can talk to each to establish debt and say when some one leaves New Zealand or goes into prison, why not the other way around.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Land Swap: Setback For Ruataniwha Scheme As Forest & Bird Wins Appeal

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society has won an appeal against a proposed land swap by the Department of Conservation which would have allowed 22 hectares of Ruahine Forest Park be flooded as part of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme that will provide irrigation for farmers. More>>

ALSO:

Up: Official July Crime Stats Released

Official crime statistics for July 2016 show that Police recorded 11,171 more victimisations than the same period last year, which equates to a 2.3 per cent increase. More than three quarters of this increase can be attributed to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Judith Collins Charm Offensive

Suddenly, Judith Collins is everyone’s new best friend. It isn’t an election year, but the Corrections/Police Minister is treating 2016 as an opportunity for a political makeover… Feel that the Police don’t attend burglaries often enough, or assiduously enough? She’s the peoples’ champ on that one. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

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
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news