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AAAP Welcomes Removal Of Subsequent Child Policy From Welfare System.

Auckland Action Against Poverty welcomes the Government’s decision to remove the subsequent child policy from the Social Security Act 2018. The policy meant that mothers faced punitive work obligations and sanctions after their additional child turned one if they are receiving a main benefit.

“Removing the subsequent child policy recognises that caregiving is critical labour that needs to be supported. Caregivers should not have to face the impossible choice of taking any employment, no matter how unsuitable, or lose their benefit”, says Brooke Fiafia, Auckland Action Against Poverty Spokesperson.

“While we welcome the change, we are disappointed that it took this long for the Labour-led Government to signal they intend to remove this sanction if re-elected. There is evidence that work test sanctions do not helppeople find sustainable employment.

“The Government needs to move faster to implement all of the recommendations from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group if they are to build a welfare system that upholds people’s dignity, instead of punishing them.

“The Government so far has only removed one other sanction from the Social Security Act, after years of campaigning by Auckland Action Against Poverty and other frontline advocates prior to the 2017 election. We are concerned that the meaningful structural changes needed in our welfare system, such as individualising benefits and addressing low core benefit levels, are still unaddressed.

“We are calling on the Government to speed up the overhaul of our welfare system that was agreed as part of the confidence and supply agreement with the Green Party and recommended by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.”

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