Click here for our 2020 Election Priority on Income Support: Our Poverty Action Plan


Everyone deserves enough to live with dignity, support their family’s wellbeing, and participate in their community. Income support can eliminate poverty and encourage all people to participate in a free and fair society to their maximum potential.

Benefit levels should be enough to meet people’s basic needs

  • Benefits should keep pace with the cost of living including food, energy, and housing prices.
  • Benefits should not be reduced or sanctioned as behaviour control tools.
  • Emergency support grants should be available immediately when needed.

Work towards a Universal Basic Income (UBI) to simplify the benefit system

  • All families should receive a universal child payment, and such payments shouldn’t be linked to employment like the Working for Families in-work tax credit is.
  • The complex social security system should be replaced by a simple two-tier system, with a universal base rate plus add-ons for specific circumstances e.g. disability.
  • The stand-down period for unemployed people seeking benefits should be abolished, and unemployed students should be eligible for financial assistance over the summer holiday.
  • Government should engage the public on options to introduce and fund a UBI, alongside tax reform. Introducing a UBI would require broad support.

The system should treat people with respect

  • WINZ staff should be trained and supported to ensure people can promptly access their full entitlements and provide individually tailored assistance to help people find work, including people with disabilities. Staff should have access to te reo Maori and Te Tiriti education.
  • People using government income support services like MSD/WINZ should have access to an effective complaints service and independent reviews of decisions.
  • Beneficiary support and advocacy groups should be well resourced and funded.

Universal superannuation should be available at age 65

  • Government should identify ways to allow flexibility in the age at which a person may receive superannuation.
  • Superannuation payments should be indexed to the Consumer Price Index.
  • Individual retirement savings should not be compulsory.

 

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