24 Nov 2010

Group issues welfare overhaul options

2:31 pm on 24 November 2010

The Welfare Working Group has issued options for reforming the welfare system, ranging from providing financial incentives to forcing solo parents into part-time work when their youngest child is one.

The group says it has no preferred option and wants to hear from the public before it makes its recommendations to the Government in February.

The paper explores ideas from enhancing the current system to moving to a funding system based on the life-time cost of a benefit.

It looks at ways to support Maori, solo parents, offenders and the sick and disabled back into the workforce.

It also highlights the need for early intervention, addiction treatment services and targeted childcare support.

The paper acknowledges the economy is emerging from a significant recession, but says job opportunities are expected to increase in coming years, particularly for highly skilled workers.