Welfare Reform Bill Sent To Select Committee

by Desk Editor on Thursday, September 20, 2012 — 4:47 PM

The Government’s second round of welfare reform has completed its first reading.

The Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill was sent to the Social Services Committee by 69 to 50 with National, NZ First United Future and ACT supporting.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the bill took and active, work-based approach to welfare.

Amongst other things the Bill includes simplified benefit categories, a greater work focus, new expectations for partners of beneficiaries and work preparation activities.

Bennett highlighted that the Bill will also require Jobseekers to be drug-free, it will allow benefits to be stopped for outstanding arrest warrants and includes social obligations to ensure children access health and education services.

Labour’s Jacinda Ardern said the bill was an attack on the most vulnerable society and National was seeking to blame them for society’s problems.

MPs began debating the first reading of the Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (No 2).

It was sent to the Finance and Expenditure Committee by 105 to 14 with the Greens and Mana opposing. The House then rose until next Tuesday.
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