Posted April 14, 2023
- The Salvation Army Te Ope Whakaora strongly supports the intention of this Bill to ensure a fair pass on of child support payments to carers of children who are receiving the sole parent rate for a range of welfare income support payments.
- Seen from the perspective of the people that The Salvation Army works with who are relying on sole parent benefit payments, the Bill adds complexity to an already confusing welfare system. There appears to be real risk of overpayments occurring resulting in further debt because of irregular flows of child support payments to carers.
- Communication with people receiving income support is crucial. The automation of income assessment requires proactive and effective communication to carers whose income is affected.
- We are concerned that there is the short time period available to prepare systems and train frontline staff in Work & Income as well as in support agencies like ours. Further delaying implementation would continue the current unfairness so we urge the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Inland Revenue (IR) to engage promptly and effectively with financial mentor and welfare advocates as soon as possible to ensure the roll-out of the changes is prepared well.
- Excluding the Unsupported Child Benefit from these changes is unfair and leaves a disadvantaged group of children and their carers without this much-needed additional support.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Submission: Child Support (Pass On) Acts Amendment Bill