Tā mātou tūranga i te whakapainga ake o te pūnaha toiora Our role in the overhaul of the welfare system

We continued to take a lead role in providing advice and implementing initiatives in relation to the welfare overhaul work programme, which was agreed in November 2019, to achieve the Government’s vision for the future welfare system.

In 2020/21 there was significant progress in areas including:

  • lifting main benefits through two separate increases to help tackle inequality and child poverty
  • making changes to abatement thresholds to allow people to earn more before their benefit starts to abate
  • removing the hours test from the In-Work Tax Credit to support parents and those who faced variable hours
  • extending employment service offerings
  • removing some obligations and related sanctions
  • reinstating the Training Incentive Allowance for higher-level qualifications.

The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to continuing the welfare overhaul this term, and we are continuing to provide advice on key areas, including some of the most complex parts of the welfare system, under a renewed work programme. The renewed work programme considers the Government’s response to COVID-19 and the reprioritisation of some initiatives that were planned to be delivered in the long term. Some key initiatives of the renewed work programme include:

  • reviewing the purpose and principles of the Social Security Act 2018
  • developing a Kaupapa Māori values framework for the welfare system
  • reviewing Working for Families tax credits
  • providing advice to support the consideration of social unemployment insurance.

To fully achieve welfare overhaul, we need to make fundamental changes to the way we operate (including our technology and processes) as we need to be fit for purpose for the future, and to be able to adapt quickly to meet all the challenges we may face.