Welfare reform legislation passed into law

Paul Bennett has announced:

Three new benefit types will replace the seven current benefit categories, in addition to the new Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment introduced in August last year.

The new categories this Bill creates are:

  • Jobseeker Support for those actively seeking and available for work

  • Sole Parent Support for sole parents with children under 14 years

  • Supported Living Payment for people significantly restricted by sickness, injury or disability.

This is a fairly major reform, which changes the focus far more onto having welfare as temporary assistance, except for those incapable of any significant work at all.

“The legislation also introduces new social obligations to ensure children in benefit-dependent homes get quality Early Childhood Education, are enrolled with a doctor, get their Well Child checks and are in school if they are school-age,” Mrs Bennett said.

The law will also require Jobseekers to be drug-free, and will allow benefits to be stopped for outstanding arrest warrants.

I can’t believe it has taken this long to say you can’t claim a benefit if on the run from the Police!

The investment approach will target interventions and support to those most at risk of long-term welfare dependence.

“By investing in people sooner, we can actually start to break that cycle of dependence.”

It may cost a bit more in the short-term, but is a good long-term investment.

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