infographics child poverty

The Support for Children in Hardship Bill has passed its second reading in Parliament. The Bill supports the Government’s Budget 2015 Child Hardship package which increases:

  • part-time work obligations for sole parents,
  • benefit and student allowance rates for those with children by $25 per week after tax,
  • Working for Families payments to low-income families not on a benefit, and
  • Childcare Assistance for low-income families.

There were no substantive changes to the Bill.  Two supplementary order papers (lodged by Minister Ann Tolley) were passed.

Divide the (Support for Children in Hardship) Bill into 3 separate Bills –  Social Security Amendment Bill (comprising clauses 1 and 2, Part 1 and the schedule), Education Amendment Bill (comprising Part 2), Taxation Bill comprising Part 3.

The inclusion of specific benefit rates ( supported living payments) that were not included in the original draft of the Bill.

Schedule – In the Schedule heading, replace “cl 10” (page 8, line 4) with “s 10”.

In the Schedule, after the item relating to clause 1(c) to (h) of Schedule 6 (page 9), insert:

Replace clause 3 with: 3 Despite clause 1(d), (e), and (g), the rate of a supported living payment on the ground of caring for a patient requiring care under any of those paragraphs must not be less than the rates that would be payable if the beneficiary and the spouse or partner of the beneficiary were both entitled to receive the benefit on those grounds; but the rate of benefit payable under this clause must not exceed—

(a) $218.86 a week if the beneficiary and his or her spouse or partner have no dependent children; or
(b) $243.86 a week if the beneficiary and his or her spouse have 1 or more dependent children.

In the Schedule, in the item relating to Schedule 9, before the item relating to clause 1(d) to (g) (page 9), insert: In clause 1(ba), replace “$300.98” with “$325.98”. In clause 1(c), replace “$300.98” with “$325.98”. In the Schedule, after the item relating to clause 1(d) to (g) of Schedule 9 (on page 9), insert: In clause 5, replace “$175.10 a week, subject to Income Test 4” with “$175.10 a week, increased by $12.50 a week if the beneficiary has 1 or more dependent children, the total rate to be subject to Income Test 4”.

NZCCSS submission to the Social Services Select Committee and previous Policy Watch blog can be found here