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Government extends opportunities for beneficiaries

Minister of Social Services and Employment
Associate Minister of Education
(Tertiary Education)

20 December 1999

Government extends opportunities for beneficiaries

The Government is to make it easier for eligible beneficiaries to begin tertiary studies from 1 January 2000, with full restoration of the Training Incentive Allowance (TIA).

Social Services and Employment Minister, Steve Maharey, said the changes were designed to give greater opportunities to those currently out of the workforce to improve their employment prospects.

“Today’s announcements will mean that beneficiaries who are entitled to receive the TIA will have their fees and course costs paid for them. In addition, from 1 April 2000 the TIA rate structure will become subject to an annual inflation adjustment. These initiatives will cost $9.2m in 1999/2000 and $13.4m in 2000/2001.

“The TIA was established in 1983 to encourage beneficiaries to develop work skills and self confidence that would better equip them for employment. The previous National government cut the programme back to the point where we could no longer be confident that it was meeting its goals.

“The new Labour Government promised during the campaign to be the party making constant improvements to the lives of ordinary New Zealanders. Today’s announcements reflect our immediate priorities and signal our longer term plans to assist beneficiaries to participate fully in society”, Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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