Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Licence needed for work use Learn More

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


Real cost to our society of savings in benefit payments

The real cost to our society of savings in benefit payments

On 27 September 2010 the Government introduced new legislation to require people on Sickness and Unemployment Benefits to reapply for these benefits annually. Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says "almost a year later we can see the results of this law change, it is being trumpeted by the Government as a success because 7400 beneficiaries have had their Unemployment Benefit stopped, and we are yet to see the full effect of the changes on Sickness beneficiaries.

Rather than a success this is a snapshot of the failing of Work and Income to help people find work, the taxpayer expects that Work and Income staff are proactively engaging with clients to assist them in their job search and monitor their success. Whereas staff regularly tell job seekers that it's not their job to find the job seeker a job. These figures show that in fact this proactive engagement is not happening and that what is happening instead is that beneficiaries are being demonized, and accused of fraud.

If Work and Income is working with their job seekers there would be no need for an annual review to access whether people are actively seeking work, the case manager would know the clients current circumstances as a result of their frequent contact with the client. The truth behind these figures is that a concerted effort by Work and Income to find people ineligible is succeeding. The result is that people with very limited employment prospects due to literacy, criminal convictions, language and other barriers are being failed at reapplication because they don't have the skills and the paperwork to satisfy the case manager that they have been actively seeking work.

Advocates report that the people they have come into contact with whose benefits are stopped in this way quickly become homeless and hungry, and often see no option other than crime to survive.

Is there really a saving for the taxpayer when vulnerable community members are left without income, homeless and hungry because their benefits have been stopped?


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.

© Scoop Media

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

Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy

The lure for New Zealand to join the AUKUS military alliance is that membership of only its “second pillar” will still (supposedly) give us access to state of the art military technologies. As top US official Kurt Campbell said during his visit to Wellington a year ago:
...We've been gratified by how many countries want to join with us to work with cutting-edge technologies like in the cyber arena, hypersonics, you can go down a long list and it's great to hear that New Zealand is interested...


Government: Retiring Chief Of Navy Thanked For His Service

Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia... More

Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... 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




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.