Based on the 267 stories we received, and research conducted by Child Poverty Action Group, we would like the Welfare Expert Advisory Group to recommend, in its report, that the Government adopt these effective policy solutions as a matter of urgency:
Substantially improve core benefits;
Remove all sanctions;
Ensure that all benefits and all parts of Working for Families (WFF) are indexed annually to prices and wages;
Remove the hours of paid work criteria from the WFF In-Work Tax Credit and extend it to all low-income families;
Treat adults in the benefit system as individuals without penalising them for being in a partnership;
Focus on what will give children better outcomes and less on moving their carers into paid work;
Ensure that applicants receive all the assistance to which they are entitled; and
Allow people on benefits to earn more from paid work before their benefits are reduced.
We would also like to note that the Child Poverty Action Group’s Welfare Fit for Families campaign promotes 17 concrete and practical recommendations for the Government and the Welfare Advisory Expert Group to consider alongside the recommendations above.
We hope that the process of deciding the critical changes to the welfare system will involve extensive collaboration between the Welfare Expert Advisory Group and the Tax Working Group, as issues have been identified which fall under the scope of each group’s mahi.
Working together to ensure that the wellbeing needs of all people in Aotearoa, children and adults alike, are prioritised is key to their long-term success.