Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More
Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Legal Entitlements To Hi-Needs Beneficiaries

Government providing legal entitlements to hi-needs beneficiaries

The Government was providing the highest claimants of welfare, supplementary payments and family support benefits with no more than they were legally entitled to, Associate Social Development and Employment Minister Rick Barker said today.

Mr Barker recently released figures detailing the amounts paid by Work and Income to the five highest claimants each of the unemployment, domestic purposes, domestic purposes with a Section 70A deduction* and sole parent benefit in response to written Parliamentary question requests.

However, despite the frequency and amounts paid to each client, Mr Barker stressed that the figures represented what the State was legally obliged to pay.

"These people, whose identities of course will remain confidential, are quite simply living in exceptional circumstances.

"I'm advised that many of these cases involve sole parents with several children with pressing and essential medical costs that have to be met by way of disability and or special benefit.

"Other clients also have emergency needs or exceptional circumstances such as accommodation costs which the State is obliged to meet on a case by case basis.

"These are families, people whose circumstances were not of their making or choosing. The State has a legal and moral obligation to help and support these people through their time of need and that's exactly what we're doing."

The higher supplementary benefits paid to each client were also reviewed on a regular basis.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

While it was easy to draw comparisons between what the beneficiaries received and others earned, Mr Barker said it was it was wrong for opposition parties to assert that taxpayers were being robbed.

"Are we to take Act's attack on beneficiaries as a sign that they would cut the funding for the childrens' health needs in these cases or let these families live on the street because they couldn't afford to meet their accommodation costs, or both?

"If we weren't helping these families, you can bet this Government would be in the gun from all sides of the political spectrum, the media and the public on how we were neglecting hi-needs beneficiaries, many with children who have considerable health and welfare needs.

"ACT would presumably have these families live on the street, destitute, whereas this Government believes that those who are in dire straits should be given assistance and support until they can get back on their own two feet."

* Section 70A of the Social Security Act applies where a sole parent on benefit either refuses to name the liable parent for Child Support purposes, or names the liable parent but refuses to apply for Child Support. A weekly penalty of $22.00 from Domestic Purposes Benefit payments applies to any client who comes under Section 70A of the Act.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos


Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?
More


 
 


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.