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Wednesday, March 31

Nats break election promise with welfare changes

The Government's welfare changes break the National Party's 2008 election promises, the Green Party said today.

“In their election policy, National promised to ‘Allow beneficiaries to earn up to $100 a week before their benefit is affected,’” Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said.

“The Bill introduced today only does this for the invalid's benefit and the DPB, not for the unemployment benefit or the sickness benefit.

“People on those benefits will still only be able to earn $80 a week before their benefits are reduced by 70 cents for every dollar they earn.

“Promising to allow beneficiaries to earn up to $100 a week before their benefit is affected was one of the only good parts of National’s pre-election policy and they have reneged on it,” Mrs Turei said.

National’s 2008 Benefits Policy Backgrounder notes:

After paying tax on their extra income, and losing part of their benefit, beneficiaries can be in a position where they are losing up to 92 cents of every additional dollar they earn. This is a disincentive for people to work even a few hours a week.

“Yet John Key and Paula Bennet have now introduced a policy that will force sickness beneficiaries to do exactly that,” Mrs Turei said.

“It adds to the growing list of this Government’s broken election promises, and worse, policies that they didn’t even announce before the election.”