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Submissions on welfare reform close Friday 13 April

10 April 2012 Media Statement

Submissions on welfare reform close Friday 13 April

Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, MP for Maungakiekie and chairman of the Social Services Select Committee advises that the deadline for public submissions on the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill closes at 5pm on Friday, 13 April.

“This is a significant step in a series of welfare reforms being introduced and I encourage the public to have their say before submissions close,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

The bill addresses three comprehensive areas:

1. The introduction of a new system of income support for young people (the Youth Package) including provision for external contractors to provide wrap-around services to these young people.

2. Providing support to youth aged 16 and 17 years who may need help to prevent them from coming on to benefit when they turn 18, and information sharing to allow identification of these young people.

3. Strengthening work availability expectations and work preparation requirements for sole parents, widows, women alone, and partners of people receiving a main benefit.

“In doing so, these reforms will modernise the existing welfare system and provide additional support for our young people. However, further obligations will be required. They will have to be in either education or training to receive a benefit,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

“Too many of our young people are being let down by the system. These reforms will address this and end the cycle of dependency.

Submissions should be forwarded, either online using Parliament’s website or in writing to Social Services Committee, Parliament Buildings, WELLINGTON 6160. Submitters who wish to appear before the committee need to state this clearly and provide: name, daytime phone number, and email address.

“We are delivering on the welfare reforms we campaigned on. I look forward to hearing what the public have to say on this very important issue,” says Mr Lotu-Iiga.

Hearings will be held in mid to late April and will take place in Wellington, and if required, Auckland and Christchurch.

The committee intends to report back to the House by 31 May 2012.


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