Bennett cutting a benefit that helped her - Labour

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been accused by Labour of cutting funding for training allowances that she benefited from while a solo mother herself.

Labour's associate social development spokeswoman Carmel Sepuloni said Ms Bennett had said she knew how hard life was on the domestic purposes benefit and she wanted those on it to have the ambition to get off the benefit.

Ms Sepuloni said instead of giving more support the budget had cut $3.6 million from the training incentive allowance for sole parents on benefits next year -- an $8.7 million total by 2013.

"How can she cut solo parents off from an opportunity that was essential in assisting her to receive further education?" Ms Sepuloni asked.

In Parliament, Ms Bennett said the Government still wanted to help sole parents with training, but changes were necessary because of the recession.

"This means that we are making decisions accordingly, $22.5 million will be spent on the training incentive allowance in the next year," Ms Bennett said.

"We have not cut the training incentive allowance; we have not cut the training level, we have merely changed the level."

Sole parents would still be helped with a "foundation course or other certificate", but at university level they would be treated as other students, she said.

Labour mounted a barrage at Ms Bennett as she answered the questions in Parliament, accusing her of hypocrisy.

At one point Labour MP Trevor Mallard accused Ms Bennett of making obscene gestures, however he later apologised saying video replays showed this not to be true.


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Labour should be talking to all their loser supporters on that benefit and trying to encourage them to change their attitude as Paula Bennett has done. A little initiative and drive required rather than sticking their hand out.

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If one stops to think for 5 seconds, they will realise that cutting the training incentive allowance will prevent people like myself on the DPB from obtaining my degree to be a primary school teacher. If Paula Bennit would like to do her math? Which would she prefer? To pay my training incentive allowance for a further 3 years? Or,Pay my full benefit for an amount of time unknown, because I was unable to complete my education? I am happy for her to publicly announce the amount I receive on the benefit, so long as she also publishes my expenses and the budget I have to live on.

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What an increcdibly naive and arrogant comment! I guess it is easy for Paula Bennet to change her attitude when she has already recieved this assistance which she is now denying to other solo parents in this country. If the TIA was not available to her it is very likely she would not be in the position of MSD today. You criticise 'bludging solo mothers' for recieving a benefit yet you support this policy which denys them the opportunity to train and get off the DPB. Many solo parents could not afford the extra costs incurred with study such as petrol and childcare, so even if they got a student loan, their benefit payments would not cover these costs and they can't borrow extra money to cover these costs. Instead these solo parents will be forced into low paying unskilled jobs where they wll be dependednt on assistance such as working for families for the rest of their lives. Look into things in more depth before you make dumb comments!

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Because your definition will soon change. I am a survivor who has fought long and hard to make a better life for myself and daughter, through adversity that would break many hard men. I still have another year of study to go - I just thank National for not cutting it sooner, as they were always going to do serious damage at some point. National well done on your Education cuts too...Ironic how that just makes us all Losers in the end!
Never fear...good teachers are being created to counteract the damage, thanks to the former TIA!

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I am a straight A student - 2 time Golden Key honurs member (u must achieve in the top 5% in the university to be a member) and am now unable to continue my last year of study - because I cant afforrd the childcare. I want noting more than to be a contributing member of society, do you think the benefit is AWESOME? because I dont. I want off it. But working at Pak n Save just dont cut it when your alone with 5 kids ( I am widowed) - so think twice before condemning all who are on benefits!

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Like Paula Bennett I have gone places since I was on the DPB and received a training allowance. I went to law school and am now on $120k+ pa. I am happy that the $40+k that I pay in taxes helps others including bankrupt developers and other Act/ National supporters who are now bennies themselves. Watch out for karma, Tom, Paula et al.

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Why is that idiot still in Parliament - he's a thug & a fool and does nothing to raise the tone or give us any confidence in our so called politicians

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You want to forget about that 'karma'rubbish Mary

If karma worked then after all the bad stuff Clark and Cullen did to this country they would have got some serious payback themselves. Instead they have inherited cushy numbers both here and abroad.

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This makes me so angry! I became a sole parent after backing my husband as he advanced his military career for 7 years. He repayed me in the age old army way and suddenly I was on my own with 3 young kids and no money. I am currently receiving the DPB and training incentive allowance whilst I train to be a teacher. This is certainly not an easy thing to do, I am fighting to make a better life for my children and I, and to date I have achieved straight A's. The TIA is what makes the difference between being able to complete my degree or not, and yes I have a student loan too. If this is taken away, just where is my incentive(and ability)to take my children and myself off our dependence on the state?!

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Watching TV tonight and saw that one of these women is getting $700 a week. Pay for your own training I say. I raise at 5am to commute an hour to a job that pays me $500 nett pw. I pay a mortgage, travel, rates insurance, support a sick husband on that $500. I paid for my training and went hungry doing it for years. I went without so much.
My tax went to pay for single people who cant control their urges to have kids, I have had a guts full of paying for them. DPD was meant to provide for people like Shona and other women who by no instigation of their own are faced with supporting a family. I am happy to support women who married and are now on their own due to abuse.
My generation fought for the right to not be in a dangerous relationship with no where to go. We forght for the pill and this generation makes a mokery of it all. Get rid of DPB for all except for women or men who have been deserted or abused by their partners and make those partners pay more than they do. So many of those partners are on a benefit themselves and their child support is paid from their benefit. For goodness sake let child support from benefit be stopped also. Let it accrue and start up government farms and industry Make them work for their living and while we are on the subjusct make all beneficaries take a urine test to prove they are not on drugs. I have to take one to earn the money to support them. So there do gooders!

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Why don't you just grow up, Í myself and on the DPB and recieving the TIA to educate myself further so i can create a better life for my son, I didn't choose to go on the benefit i would be more than happy to go and work for my money but i'm taking the time to educate myself so i can earn more than the minimum wage, If this benefit is taken away there is no way in hell that i would be able to finish my education with the little money that i do receive. I'm more than happy to finish my education and then let my taxes that i then receive when i come off the benefit to go to others in my situation so get off your high horse and grow up.

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your an absolute retard. i suppose you would tell women who cant control their urges and get pregnant to abort their baby wouldnt you? that killing a child is far better than rasing one. the DPB is for those who need the help i get $350 and i work hard for that money looking after my child and studying at uni. If we didnt have this we would be called dead beat mothers for putting our children into daycare as soon as they were born but this money lets us have time with our children because we dont have the suport from anywhere else. you obviously dont know what its like so you cant judge. when i get a job after doing my study i would rather my money went to well deserving single mothers than rich parlimentarians from the national party to live in a luxorious house. i will happily take a drug test ill be clean but what about the father of my baby he wont be and thats why im single i chose not to bring my child up on my own in a world that revolved around drugs, forgive me if i thought that woiuld be far better than being together. the pill isnt 100% you cant trust these things. yeah i think im done got anything else to say? ill shut you down

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Rich pay less tax due to a higher income, Poor pay more tax due to their lower income ... you going without so many things isn't the blame of beneficiaries, but in the tax cap & spending of your Government ... All benefits are taxed aswell ... In 2013 $2323.21 per capita was given to Superannuation; $394.53 per capita was given to the Domestic purposes benefit ... In 2016 $160,000 per annum was the base salary of the lowest paid MP, a 2.49 percent pay rise was also issued around this year, so even this rate has risen up & this amount doesn't include tax free allowances they can claim & discretionary spending they can claim also such as trips, accommodation, they can even claim the cost of a briefcase for their parliamentary notes keeping & security for their homes & cars etc & there is more I could tell you, but you should find out for yourself ... so I definitely don't begrudge paying either group, but as you can see we as a nation of taxpayers have a Government who considerably provides for our aged & our fatherless & motherless children ... how can there be a harm in that? what's bad with that? & now to other's don't attack solo beneficiaries by thinking they receive the greatest amount of money. or by thinking that's where all your tax goes to, because it simply doesn't, many solo beneficiaries have come into this situation because of spousal death, spousal adultery, spousal abuse, spousal mental illness, spousal terminal illness, & spousal midlife crisis & all sorts of other reasons that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy - no one fully wants to raise a baby on their own, & the reason why some solo beneficiaries are turning to drugs, alcohol, crime, conceiving more children, conceiving children to different fathers & mothers - is all a big cry for help - they are not coping & therefore the innocent children are not coping, be grateful to yourself that you are coping, that you have a job, that you are not a beneficiary, but as much as Politicians, Members of Society (who honestly don't actually know the truth) are intent to vilify beneficiaries - have you actually asked why? these sectors vilify beneficiaries ... have you actually challenged the information that's out there, no I bet you don't, we are all operating under what's called a ''Social Anxiety Disorder'' - ''Ignorance masquerades as knowledge'' & this is a blanket problem across our nation through out all sectors, genders, races, ages, we need to become a more enlightened, rationally thinking country ... because the true con-artists are conducting their affairs right in front of you, in plain sight & they have gotten away with far more, than what you think a beneficiary has ever gotten away with ...

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I know of a woman on dpb due to her ex husband who constantly abused her and beat her up. She has got 4 children raning form 2yrs to 13. she has to travel to town to study and is in her first year of BASWA. sometimes she only has $30 left to buy her kids food. How on earth can she manage to get off the Dpb and support her children properly if they take the tia away?

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I am a solo mum, however I receive the widows bene which in essence is the DPB just a diff name, The TIA being taken away from people in my position that have lost their husbands and been left with children to support and have no qualifications is totally wrong, I and my three children have to survive on 540$ per week I have a 500+ mortgage and now a credit card bill due to not being accepted to receive a TIA, Shona who commented earlier you have no idea what its like to lose your life partner and then have to struggle to feed 3 children, yes some may abuse the system but why should those of us that really really need help get punished.

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Sorry Shona I ment Crissy

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What a hypocit and a short sited crap policy that national has come up with once again...Who is always the first to suffer from government restructuring yes almost always WOMEN AND CHILDREN and of course the disadvantaged. I am a law criminology student and I am also a single mother... and I have learnt that crime is most prevelant amoung people who do not have access to employment opportunities,in which this government is advocating. So thanks National for further creating a crime incentive to a generation of people who do not have access to good education.... I mean how dumb are they this policy is counter productive and is a disensentive for anyone who is on a extremely low pay such as the DPB.
I am guessing the national government wants these people to do the low paid stressful jobs forever and remain poor...
Well people of NEW ZEALAND I predicted something like this would happen but you voted this REALIST government who beleives in selfish narrow minded policies. I hope you think more carefully about the next election and I say bring on more hideous policies as this National because you will not last long and will be out the door quicker than you know!!!!!!!

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When I was told by WINZ that I no longer could receive the TIA for Bachelor of Nursing (could get it only if I was doing some lower level course that probably wouldn't get me off the benefit anyway) I was told to get a student loan to cover the $60+ per week I pay in petrol and childcare when studying (which I already have for course fees - people think govt pays for everything - not true!) . (And I only get $342 per week for 4 kids, Paula Bennet wouldn't publicize that figure I bet!). So rang studylink to apply for living costs, which is a loan not a handout, and was told that I wasn't eligible due to being on the DPB!! So not only have the govt removed the TIA, they have prevented beneficiaries from being able to borrow the money they need to study, which any other struggling student is entitled to borrow. ( which they would obviously pay back, so the taxpayers can rest easy on that one). It is blatant discrimination - and so counter-productive, because it prevents people getting off the DPB. Hearing about the MP's expense claims in the same week as this has me absolutely fuming!!

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After bills are paid, it comes down to 100 for food or 100 for childcare for my 2 toddlers while I'm on teacher placements.
That is after the govt sub.

I get a student loan but only 1000 for course related exps.
That would get swallowed up on one placement, not to mention books etc.

Thats where the TIA helped. Its not a weekly payment, it gets paid to the childcare provider.

Also I would receive less money but would be better off at end of week if I was in a housing corp. Would loose 120 a week, but be better off? Yes thats right but not enough to go around. Rent is around 300+ these days. with milk, bread prices rising,

I would love for anyone who thinks they can survive on a benefit to go to work and incomes website, as well as working for families and work out how much they would receive and try to live on it,
Save all extra money!

I Dare you too.

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After bills are paid, it comes down to 100 for food or 100 for childcare for my 2 toddlers while I'm on teacher placements.
That is after the govt sub.

I get a student loan but only 1000 for course related exps.
That would get swallowed up on one placement, not to mention books etc.

Thats where the TIA helped. Its not a weekly payment, it gets paid to the childcare provider.

Also I would receive less money but would be better off at end of week if I was in a housing corp. Would loose 120 a week, but be better off? Yes thats right but not enough to go around. Rent is around 300+ these days. with milk, bread prices rising,

I would love for anyone who thinks they can survive on a benefit to go to work and incomes website, as well as working for families and work out how much they would receive and try to live on it,
Save all extra money!

I Dare you too.

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100 for food
100 for childcare?
What would you choose
I can't have both.

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Paula Bennett had it pretty swell when she was on DPB, her mother looked after child when she was studying.

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