Election 2011 - Party Policies - Social Welfare
24th Jul 11, 5:56pm
- Ensure that there is strong, adequate support for the genuinely needy.
Re-introduce a youth training rate or minimum wage.
Introduce obligations for sole parent beneficiaries to ensure their children are properly cared for including taking budgeting instruction and meeting regular health checks.
Introduce sanctions – such as suspension of the unemployment benefit and mandatory work-for-the-dole – in cases where reasonable offers of employment are declined.
Require mandatory drug rehabilitation or loss of benefit for unemployed beneficiaries who fail work tests because of drug or substance addiction.
Introduce income management and the requirement to live with a responsible adult for parents under the age of 18.
Have independent, government-approved gatekeeping and assessment of applicants for the sickness and invalids benefit, and six monthly reassessment of sickness beneficiaries.
Outsource all employment placement activities to private sector providers and foster a competitive market for sickness, invalid and employment insurance.
Encourage practical Maori-focused solutions, including Whanau Ora, to lift Maori out of poverty and benefit dependency.
Introduce a hotline (like Crimestoppers) to report benefit fraud.
Cut welfare payments to middle and upper income earners through reform of Working for Families. (more here)
- Everyone has a standard of living that enables them to participate in their community.
- People have sufficient income for their personal and whanau/family's well-being.
- People are actively involved in meeting their potential and creating a fulfilling life.
- A commitment to full employment.
- Greater emphasis on sufficiency, simplicity, universality. (more here)
Labour will create a $5,000 tax free zone. This means the first $5,000 you make in personal income a year – whether you are a worker, a beneficiary, or retired on New Zealand superannuation – will be tax free.
Labour will take GST off all fresh fruit and vegetables. That gives the average household an extra $160 a year to put back into groceries – and makes the healthiest choices more affordable.
Labour wishes to see restoration of the $700,000 cut in funding that Women’s Refuge was using to support crisis refuges. We will commit additional funding accordingly and work with MSD and Women’s Refuge to ensure a fair and transparent process for the allocation of funding for this purpose.
Establish a Commission on Sexual and Family Violence which will draw on the work of the Taskforce on Sexual Violence and the Taskforce on Family Violence and will provide ongoing evidence based advice to Government. This will include advice on building a consensus on a long term unified and adequately resourced plan which has cross party support to eliminate violence against women.
Labour’s Social Inclusion approach will be a new way of working together with communities in the areas where that way of working can make the most difference. It is an approach we have seen working well elsewhere: but that we want to develop here in our own, can-do Kiwi version.
Labour will immediately restore $2 million to the Training Incentive Allowance and commit to further increases over time so people on social welfare benefits can obtain qualifications that give greater opportunity for themselves and their children.
Labour will get young New Zealanders off the unemployment benefit and into apprenticeships with an $8,727 (the equivalent of the dole payment) subsidy to employers willing to offer a permanent full-time job.
Labour will re-establish Work and Income’s primary focus as finding sustainable employment for those ready to work, rather than make-work schemes or punitive sanctions against those who have genuine barriers to employment or important childcare responsibilities. (more here)
- Increase benefit incomes to a living income, including extending the in-work tax credit to the children of beneficiary parents
- If there is no work or people are unable to work, decent benefits allow people to get through difficult times with dignity and respect. The current welfare system is far too complicated, wastes huge amounts of taxpayers’ money on administration, and does not provide even minimal adequate support for most beneficiaries. All too often people coming to Work & Income for help are treated with disregard and contempt. All this needs to change. (more here)
- Extend the Tax Credit for all low income families.
- Establish a Ministry of Families inclusive of children, young people and whānau. The new Ministry will include functions from the Families Commission, the Children’s Commission; Family and Community Services, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Child, Youth and Family and the Office for Senior Citizens. The new Ministry’s focus will be on the care and protection of children and the prevention of family violence and sexual violence. We will support the delivery of frontline services to whānau to restore safety and wellbeing while still maintaining zero tolerance for violence. We will review the Domestic Violence Act 1995. (more here)
- Payment cards that can only be used for essentials.
- All young beneficiaries must be in education or training. (more here)
- We are simplifying the benefit system and taking a long term investment approach to getting people off welfare and into work. This means more intensive support will be provided to people who are capable of working and who are likely to remain on benefit long term without that support.
- [creation of a] Sole Parent Support [and those receiving] will be expected to look for part-time work when their child is five years old and full-time when their child reaches the age of 14.
- [creation of a] Supported Living Payment will include people currently on Invalid’s Benefit who are permanently and severely disabled, severely mentally ill, or terminally ill.
- [creation of a] Jobseeker Support also includes those who are temporarily sick or injured and those parents with children aged 14 or over. People too ill to work will be exempt from work expectations until they are well enough to work in some capacity.
- Focus on welfare fraud and those abusing the system by data-matching information in benefit applications with information held by other agencies by making greater greater use of technology.
- Review the Social Security Act, focusing on how to make it easier to prosecute people who defraud the taxpayer.
- Sanction jobseekers whose recreational use of drugs affects their ability to apply for and secure a job.
- If someone is on the run from the Police, with a warrant out for their arrest, we will stop their benefit. (more here)
- UnitedFuture believes that work is a good, for society and for individuals. Having a job boosts self-esteem and a sense of personal dignity. That’s why UnitedFuture’s policies are practical, with the goal of suitable employment for all who want them. (more here)
- Extend paid Parental leave to 13 months, as recommeded by the Families Commission. (more here)