INDEPENDENT NEWS

Policies for the Poor (Finally!)

Published: Tue 8 Nov 2011 02:32 PM
Policies for the Poor (Finally!)
“I don’t care if it is an election promise (as long as it happens)” says Rebecca Occleston, speaker for Beneficiary Advisory Service (BAS). “It’s nice to see child poverty actually being an election issue this year. Well done Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and other groups for ensuring the importance of this issue in the media.”
“I’m not sure why it takes 7 years to implement the change to paying beneficiaries the WFF tax credits, but I am glad it is finally happening.
“John Key is plain wrong when he states granting this removes the incentive to work. For a start PARENTING IS WORKING. Secondly, most people want to be in paid work. They should still be better off financially if they are working, but there is also the feeling of being valued and the sociable nature of working with other adults.
“We also approve of the free GP visits for all children under 6 years old, 24 hours/day. Even on a middling income, it can make you think twice about taking a child to the doctor and we shouldn’t have to do that: child health is incredibly important.
“We also support the policies to extend Paid Parental Leave, having sufficient funding for childcare centres and free dental for pregnant women. We notice, however, that Labour have not promised to raise basic benefit levels. Unless they do, benefits will remain the same when (if Labour get in and implement it) they institute their “$5000 tax free zone”, as benefit rates are set by the net rate, not the gross rate. Pretty much everyone on a benefit is struggling as it is simply not enough to pay for all their basic costs. These policies proposed by Labour are a good start. There still needs to be more.”
Beneficiary Advisory Service is a Christchurch based Community Group who help people on benefits and low incomes with their problems with Work and Income. We are specialists in Welfare Law and provide advice, information, support and advocacy to hundreds of people every year. We can be contacted at bas.cprc@gmail.com.
Rebecca Occleston
Speaker: Beneficiary Advisory Service
ENDS

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