1. Extending Work Obligations
Extend part-time work obligations to:
• People receiving a domestic purposes benefit, once their youngest child is aged six or over.
• People receiving a sickness or invalids benefit, if they have been assessed as able to work. These beneficiaries will be required to spend at least 15 hours per week in employment, training, or jobseeking activities.
2. Focusing on the Long-term Unemployed
Require all people who have been receiving an unemployment benefit for 12 months or more to reapply for their benefit and undergo a comprehensive work assessment.
3. Improving Assessments for Sickness Beneficiaries
Introduce more frequent reassessment during the first few months a person is on a sickness benefit. Anyone on a sickness benefit continuously for 12 months will automatically be sent to a ‘designated doctor’ for a second opinion on their work prospects.
4. Providing Certainty
Enshrine CPI adjustments to benefit payments in legislation so they increase each year in line with inflation.
5. Making Work Pay
Allow beneficiaries to earn up to $100 a week before their benefit is abated, to encourage them to take on part-time work.
6. Having More Graduated Sanctions
Introduce graduated benefit reductions for beneficiaries who don’t meet their work obligations. This will give Work & Income case managers more flexibility to encourage beneficiaries back to work.
7. Providing Beneficiaries with Budgeting Advice
Require the most frequent applicants for benefit advances to attend a budget advisory service at the Government’s expense. Those not attending will not be eligible for further benefit advances.
8. Being Honest About the Benefit System
Reject Labour’s planned new benefit terminology which will make government workers use the term “income support” rather than talk about particular benefit types.