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National Party announces youth welfare policies

» 14/08/2011, Posted by Site Admin


The National Party announced today policy platforms relating to young people:

YOUTH WELFARE POLICY:
The National Party announced today a youth welfare policy that would see many beneficiaries aged between 16 and 18 having their benefit payments managed on their behalf, and having to work with an adult support provider, under new National Party policy.

National's policy would apply to 16 and 17-year-old beneficiaries, other than those on an invalid benefit, and to 18-year-old beneficiaries who have children. These young people would have to work directly with a support provider who would be tasked with getting the young person into work, education or some type of training.
Their benefits would be managed by the provider or the Ministry of Social Development. Basics like rent and power would be paid directly and a payment card would be used to buy groceries. The card could not be used to purchase cigarettes or alcohol. A certain, limited amount of discretionary spending would be left.

PRIVACY LAW CHANGE:
The National Party announced a policy that would enable Government to identify the whereabouts of 16 and 17 year olds who are not in education, work or training. Under the National Party's new policy, schools would be required to inform authorities if 16 and 17 year olds leave school during the year. That information would be shared with the Ministry of Social Development. This would require a change to the Education Act and the Privacy Act.

MEDIA COMMENTARY:
There has been extensive media coverage following the National Party's announcements. Included among the media commentary has been the following items:

An article on Radio NZ's Morning Report, including comments from Prime Minister John Key and Minster of Social Development Paula Bennett, which is downloadable as an audio file from:
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport
under the title 'Youth unemployed to have support and benefits managed' in library items for Monday 15 August 2011

Interviews on Radio NZ's None to Noon programme with Dale Williams (Otorohanga mayor and head of the Mayors' Taskforce for Jobs), and Felicity Perry (a former independent youth beneficiary), which is downloadable as an audio file from:
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon
under the title 'National's youth welfare policy proposal' in library items for Monday 15 August 2011

A press release by Te Wharepora Hou, a group of mainly Auckland-based Maori women speaking out against the continual negative stigma that young people have to live with, available at:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1108/S00219/youth-welfare-how-fair.htm