New report on people’s experiences of welfare to launch Friday 9 November
Between 18 and 31 October 2018, 267 people contributed their perspectives, insights and experiences of the welfare system through a 17-question online survey hosted by ActionStation. The survey findings show an overwhelming trend of negative experiences with Work and Income and a desperate lack of income.
Of those who contributed and had first-hand experience of the welfare system:
• Four out of five had negative experiences.
• 84 percent of people said they do not currently receive enough income to live with dignity and participate fully in the community.
• 70 percent experienced a lack of transparency and access to information, particularly about their rights.
• 64 percent experienced a lack of care or compassion from WINZ staff.
• 63 percent had experienced feelings of judgment or stigma from the public.
• 54 percent experienced long waiting lists or difficulties finding a suitable time with a case worker.
Based on the stories and previous research conducted by Child Poverty Action Group, the report recommends that the Government:
1. Substantially improve core benefits;
2. Remove all sanctions;
3. Ensure that all benefits and all parts of Working for Families (WFF) are indexed annually to prices and wages;
4. Remove the hours of paid work criteria from the WFF In-Work Tax Credit and extend it to all low-income families;
5. Treat adults in the benefit system as individuals without penalising them for being in a partnership;
6. Focus on what will give children better outcomes and less on moving their carers into paid work;
7. Ensure that applicants receive all the assistance to which they are entitled; and
8. Allow people on benefits to earn more from paid work before their benefits are reduced.
The final version will be launched to the public and available for download at www.welfareforwellbeing.org