Lindsay Mitchell has been researching and commenting on welfare since 2001. Many of her articles have been published in mainstream media and she has appeared on radio,tv and before select committees discussing issues relating to welfare. Lindsay is also an artist who works under commission and exhibits at Wellington, New Zealand, galleries.
There are now so many Work and Income rules that have either been repealed, ignored or broken since 2017 that it’s worth making a list:
1/ The penalty for not naming the father of a child dependent on a sole parent benefit was abolished. Taxpayer now picks up the liable parent contribution
2/ The requirement to ensure a child on a benefit is attending early childhood education/ school and enroled with a GP is ignored
3/ Sanctions for not meeting appointment and work obligations have declined significantly
4/ The requirement to present a medical certificate is suspended till at least 2022
5/ Beneficiaries can use payment cards to buy cigarettes, lotto tickets and giftcards at BP
6/ Fraud is not being prosecuted. Fraud staff have been moved to chasing up wage subsidy repayments, and changes to privacy settings have prevented investigations without disclosure to parties being investigated.
7/ No stand-downs imposed till July 2021
And to be repealed by law passing through parliament currently:
8/ Early work-testing of a sole parent who adds a subsequent child to their benefit. Green light to continue having children on welfare with no consequence except extra cash.
What with the increases to basic benefit rates, increased abatement thresholds, indexing benefits to wages as well as CPI, the winter energy payment, Best Start and the loosening of so many obligations, there’s never been a better time to be a beneficiary in New Zealand.
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