Social security

Restructuring individuals: The use of sanctions in New Zealand’s welfare system

Alicia Sudden

According to Kingfisher (1999), the welfare system in New Zealand is increasingly oriented around the need to restructure individuals, rather than systems. This has become more visible recently through the use of financial sanctions. A new sanctions regime was implemented in July 2013 alongside the overhaul of main benefit types,
 

A New Zealand Community Living Standards Review?

Simon Chapple

New Zealand’s system of income redistribution is complex. It includes accident compensation, New Zealand Superannuation, minimum wages, tax thresholds, tax credits for families (such as Working for Families and the in-work tax credit), working age welfare benefits, and the Accommodation Supplement. The system lacks coherence. The myriad of income supports
 

Budget 2017: What tax cuts?

Terry Baucher

One of the interesting trends of the National Government’s budgets has been how it has been able to raise tax revenue practically unnoticed. Attention has largely focused on income tax rates and, to a lesser extent, the applicable thresholds. However, away from the spotlight various budgets since 2009 have made
 

What have future generations ever done for me?

David Hall

His stake is in the ground. Prime Minister Bill English is progressively raising superannuation age of eligibility from 65 to 67. The change will be complete by 2040, but won’t start until 1st July 2037, twenty whole years away. No one born before 30th June 1972 will be affected. Many
 

And so this is Christmas…

Alicia Sudden

Christmas time comes with many certainties in New Zealand. There won’t be any snow. Every mall becomes home to a Santa Claus. There will be a variety of fake and real Christmas trees in workplaces and homes, decorated with lights that take too long to untangle and tinsel that has
 

The plight of the beneficiary

Alicia Sudden

To be a beneficiary in New Zealand is to be innately separate from the rest of the population. It comes with connotations about who you are as a person, your motivations, your worth. This is the result of decades of homogenising and dehumanising discourses. And these have very real impacts
 

Expanding ACC to cover sickness

Grant Duncan

In December 2017, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the Royal Commission report Compensation for Personal Injury in New Zealand, commonly known as the Woodhouse Report after its chair, the late Sir Owen. This pioneering report led to New Zealand’s unique universal 24-hour accident compensation and rehabilitation scheme, the
 

The Budget 2015 ‘Child Hardship’ Package

Michael Fletcher

The Government deserves credit for increasing financial assistance to many families in its ‘child hardship package’. Those families will welcome the extra cash in hand. However, the package is rather less generous than it first appears. It will provide little for many low-income families, including many in the greatest hardship
 

Prevention: The Best Way To Address Child Poverty

Mike O'Brien

The government has signalled that its main approach to child poverty is to concentrate on a small subset of poor children who live in ‘complex’ families with multiple needs. By contrast, the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) believes that a comprehensive preventative approach is needed, not one that concentrates on
 

Legislating To Reduce Child Poverty

Office of the Children’s Commissioner and John Hancock

Reproduced by kind permission of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. Around 285,000 New Zealand children (27%) live in households where family income falls below the poverty linei, a figure that has remained relatively flat since 2009. By contrast, in the early-to-mid 1980s the level of child poverty was below 15%, before
 

A Step Change For Children: Fix Working For Families.

Susan St.John

New Zealand now has two classes of low income children; the worthy who can be supported to the full extent of social security legislation, and the unworthy who are consigned to remain in poverty. This shameful disparity is between the treatment of children in families who can find paid work
 

More Income Is Required To Improve The Health Of Poor Children

Innes Asher

The future is what we choose to develop as well as what we choose to ignore. It is in our decisions and actions, our values and relationships, our language and mind-sets. There is no accidental future for our society. Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith     Many New Zealanders are concerned
 

Doing Something About Low Incomes: Wages And Benefits

Bill Rosenberg

The Government says it is putting poverty on the agenda. That’s good, but what does it mean in practice? The signs are worrying. Announcements so far show it will be limited tightly to those in the harshest poverty, cover only housing, transport, childcare costs and loan-shark debt, and rather than