Welfare Reform Update

Last month the Government announced details of its welfare reforms. The reforms are largely based on the recommendations of the Welfare Working Group, set up by the Government in 2010.

The reforms will be introduced in two stages.

Critics of the reform have particular concerns about the requirement that single parents who have another child while on a benefit will be required to be available for work once that child turns 1. It is hard to see, for example, how requiring mothers with babies to work fits with the Government’s Green Paper for Vulnerable Children, or with the recently announced public sector achievement target of supporting vulnerable children.

Other reforms to be introduced in the first round include changes to benefit payments for parents aged 16-18 and unemployed 16 and 17 year olds.

Note that submissions to the Social Services Select Committee on the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill (Introduces the Government’s welfare reforms) close very soon, this Friday 13 April.

Source: Social Development Partners