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Carmel Sepuloni: Backing families to get ahead

Investing in people has never been so important - and it’s a key part of Labour’s five point economic plan.

Before the pandemic’s global and unprecedented impact on our economy and our people, we were already working towards overhauling our welfare system to make it more accessible and fairer for Kiwis. Keeping this work moving through a continued investment in our people is critical. 

Labour will reinstate access to the Training Incentive Allowance.  This will mean that people and carers on the Sole Parent Support benefit and Supported Living Payment, can access additional financial support to train and gain qualifications up to degree level.

The Training Incentive Allowance gave me that extra support I needed to take up study as a young sole mum and helped me to work towards building a future for my family. The previous government took this opportunity away from thousands of sole parents and people with disabilities, despite the previous responsible Minister receiving support from the payment. Labour will put that support back in place.

The allowance, up to $4,515.60 a year, can help cover the costs of things like transport getting to and from study, additional course costs, and childcare costs that may not already be covered by the child care subsidy.

Another change that builds on our investment in people is ensuring people on the benefit who work part-time can keep more of their earnings. Currently, if someone is receiving the Jobseeker Support unemployment benefit and earns over $90 per week, they lose 70 cents of their benefit for every $1 they earn. Under Labour the abatement rate will increase to $160 a week before their benefit is reduced. For some this will mean they are upto better off by $70 a week. 

Labour remains committed to improving the wellbeing of all New Zealanders – investing in people is key to that. As we recover and rebuild in the wake of COVID-19, a focus on policies that focus on those traditionally disadvantaged in the labour market, means we are truly helping families to get ahead.


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