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Welfare Expert Advisory Group Report

The Government has released the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations for the future shape of New Zealand’s welfare system.

An 11 member Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) was established in May 2018 to provide advice to the Government on options that could best give effect to its vision for the future direction of the social welfare system.

The Ministry of Social Development provided WEAG with advice on a number of areas to inform the group’s work.

These papers (see link below) are known as Rapid Evidence Reviews and were commissioned by WEAG from MSD. 2 papers were co-authored with the Social Wellbeing Agency, or SWA, (used to be called Social Investment Agency, or SIA).

Pre budget announcements

The Government has also announced that it is taking some initial steps that address some of their priority areas. These are:

  1. Funding for extra frontline staff to help us focus more on employment (170 in the new financial year, building up to 263 next year).
  2. The repeal of Section 192 (formerly 70A) to remove the requirement to reduce the sole parent benefit of people who do not name the other parent of their child.
  3. An increase in how much a person getting a main benefit can earn up to each week (abatement threshold) before their benefit begins to reduce.

Section 192 (formerly 70A) and the change to abatement rates both require a change in law, and will come into effect from 1 April 2020.

More information

Read the Minister’s press release here: www.beehive.govt.nz

The final Welfare Expert Advisory Group Report is available here: www.weag.govt.nz. Supporting papers developed by the WEAG itself can also be found on this site.

Go to MSD evidence papers

Go to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group Cabinet papers, minutes and Coversheets

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