Welfare reform is central in the National Government’s commitment to better public services. With 13% of our working population on a benefit our current welfare system clearly isn’t working. This creates too many vulnerable people, trapping them in a life of limited choices, poverty and poor health.
Getting people off welfare and into work means a better life, better opportunities and a better life for them and their families.
• Young people
This entails targeting support for young people on a collision course with life-long welfare dependency. It includes :
- a managed system of payments with essential costs like rent and
power paid directly with an allowance as well as a payment card for
- Youth Service Providers incentivised to help young people into work, education or training. Young people are encouraged to attend budgeting and parenting courses;
- Guaranteed Childcare Assistance Payment so childcare costs do not stop young parents from studying; and
- Sharing information between ministries to target school leavers most at risk of coming onto a benefit from age 18.
• Beneficiaries with children, Widows and Women Alone
Our aim is to improve financial and social outcomes for beneficiaries
with children and value the capacity of widows and single women to
work. Major changes include:
- Ensuring sole parents with children five years and older are available for and supported into part-time work;
- Ensuring sole parents with children 14 years and older are available for and supported into full-time work;
- Extending these work expectations to women receiving the Widow’s and Women Alone benefits and to partners of beneficiaries with children;
- Enabling Work and Income to direct people to prepare for work early; and
- Requiring sole parents who have another child while on a benefit to be available for work after one year, in line with parental leave.
The main purpose of these changes is to ensure that those people who can work, do work.For further information about these changes click here: http://www.national.org.nz/welfare-reforms.aspx