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DPB Rule Changes Put On Hold Because Of Recession

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Paula Bennett
Paula Bennett

Wellington, March 26 NZPA - The Government's plan to tighten the rules around the domestic purposes benefit has been put on hold because of the recession.

Under a policy announced in August last year, women on the DPB would have to work or train for 15 hours a week after their youngest child reached the age of six or risk losing the benefit.

The Government made no move after the election to introduce it and today Social Development Minister Paula Bennett confirmed it was on the backburner because people were being made redundant and jobs were in short supply.

"There's no backdown here, sometimes you've got to be pragmatic and sensible," she said on One News.

The Government does not know when the policy might be implemented.

"We're aiming towards the end of next year but who knows how long the recession is really going to last," Ms Bennett said.

The Green Party called on the Government to scrap it altogether.

"It is a punitive measure," said MP Sue Bradford.

"It places even more pressure on people who are often already struggling with lone parenthood and the very low level of income support provided by the state."

Ms Bradford said the DPB started at $263 a week and the Government should not even think of forcing parents to work.

NZPA PAR pw nb

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