Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alternative Welfare Working Group Set Up

At last an alternative welfare working group has been set up to counter balance the proposals coming from the government's welfare working group. Hopefully the alternative proposals will be more friendly to beneficiaries. One idea is a Universal Basic Income. This could be good, but the crucial factor would be the amount. I've heard proposals of $200 per week with a few top ups for a mother with a family. This is not enough to live on, and would be similar to a current benefit.

"Less than a year after quitting Parliament, former Green MP Sue Bradford is jumping back into public life with a new group that aims to challenge an official shakeup of the welfare system.

The "alternative welfare working group" will seek public submissions around the country to counter the official welfare working group which has been asked by Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to find ways to reduce welfare dependency.

"They are actually talking about changing the very basis of our social security system, but they are not engaging a wide range of people in the discussion around that," Ms Bradford said yesterday.

"It's very important that other analyses and other solutions are put up."

The six-member alternative group has been set up by the Catholic aid and social justice agency Caritas, the Anglican Social Justice Commission and the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation.

Massey University social policy professor Mike O'Brien will chair it. Other members are Lincoln University economist Paul Dalziel, Victoria University welfare law lecturer Maamari Stephens, Anglican Bishop Muru Walters and Disabled Persons Assembly researcher Wendi Wicks."

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