Welfare report offers hope – CTU

Today’s Welfare Expert Advisory Group reportWhakamana Tāngata provides clear recognition that our welfare system was brokenand needed overhauling, the Council of Trade Unions said today.

“New Zealand has a proud history ofensuring Kiwis can access the fundamental basics of life. We led the way withthe building of houses for people who needed a home with our state housingprogram and we’ve also supported those who haven’t been able to, for a widerange of reasons, be in paid employment,” said CTU Secretary Sam Huggard.

“For many the nature of work is changingand increasingly employers are not providing working people with securedependable employment.”

“The report has a number of solutions tothis.”

“Proposals such as a 6 months partneredworkers’ benefit correctly recognises that we need a much better plan to wrapsupport around families going through big economic shocks such as redundancy –especially as the OECD has told us that our levels of support in this area areamong the worst.”

“The stress placed on a family during aneconomic shock is immense, not only for earners but their children’s wellbeingalso comes under huge strain. Fixing this will have a direct impact on childand family mental wellbeing and should be strongly supported.”

Unions endorse the recommendations fortripartite oversight of employment support system and the return of a dedicatedemployment service in MSD, and say the report is very timely ahead of the PrimeMinster’s Just Transition summit in Taranaki next week.

“We also recognise the very significantcontribution made by Māori to this report and the clear recommendations onimproving the responsiveness of all aspects of our welfare system forMāori.”

“We are excited by the potential thatimplementing the report’s recommendations could have on the lives of all NewZealanders and the clear understanding that core benefits need to risesubstantially to reduce poverty. We encourage the government to move swiftlyand adopt the recommendations in the report,” Huggard said.

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