As you will all know, the National-led Government has introduced comprehensive reforms to our welfare system.
We want to help those in genuine need, and the welfare system will always be there to support them. But we are also aware that long-term welfare dependency can become a trap, leading to a life of limited outcomes and limited choices. We believe that anyone who can work should be in work, in training, or actively looking for a job. The rebuild of Christchurch creates opportunities for beneficiaries who are seeking work. This Government wants to help them reach towards their potential.
National will do this by providing further support for the Canterbury rebuild with $3.5 million of new…… operating funding for in Budget 2014 to help beneficiaries to take up work in Christchurch. Up to 1,000 beneficiaries will receive a one-off payment of $3,000 each if they have an offer of full time work in Canterbury and are ready and willing to move there.
This policy is hitting two birds with one stone for the Government. It supports the Government’s priority to rebuild Christchurch and it gets people off welfare and into work. This means a better life, and better opportunities, for beneficiaries and their families.
This announcement is just one example of the National Governments policy programme that supports the delivery of more jobs and higher incomes which will be a key part of the Government strategies used in the Budget to be announced later this week.
The 2014 Budget will set out the next steps in the Government’s programme, which will build on the good economic momentum that New Zealanders have seen over the past year or so. It will show growing fiscal surpluses through to 2018, starting with a small surplus in 2014-15. The forecasts will also show that around 170,000 more people will be working by 2018, with the average wage running $7,600 higher than today.
This Government is committed to thoughtful, targeted spending, not a large-scale spend-up, which would put pressure on interest rates for households and businesses. We will also continue to work to increase the supply of land and new housing to the housing market so that it can meet the unprecedented demand, particularly from the sharp turn-round in migration figures.