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Ed Sheeran

Intent good but pace slow on welfare reform

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Auckland Action Against Poverty says the Government needs to move faster on the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s report on reforming the welfare system.

The Government committed to implementing just three of the group’s 40 recommendations in this year’s Budget - ending sanctions on solo mothers who don’t name the father of their child, changing the abatement regime for beneficiaries who find part time or casual work, and hiring more frontline staff.

Triple A P coordinator Ricardo Menendez March says the abatement regime makes it harder for people to reenter the workforce, because once they earn more than about $100 from part time work every extra dollar is in effect taken off them.

"Even if you are working a handful of hours you are likely to be earning more than $100 and especially for our youth who are entering the workforce, a lot of the work available at the moment is part time so we should be making it easier for people to start entering the workforce if they choose to do so without punishing them," he says.

Mr Menendez March says many of the problems with staff workloads is because benefits are too low, so case managers have to deal with lots of requests for emergency funding.






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