You will always have the poor with you
Labour has decided that beneficiaries without kids are people after all. Although it is not going to increase benefits, it will assist those who realise that if they have run out of food, they can seek WINZ assistance by altering the annual limit to food, particularly the annual $200 limit for single childless people on the sickness benefit, most whom should really be on the dole looking for work.
But it's not widely known that any two parent family with kids getting less than $61,300 a year can get up to $165 a week off WINZ for assistance with their mortgage, rates and insurance - or rent - via the accommodation supplement provided they have less than $10,000 in the bank - and if they have essential maintenance costs such as getting a plumber in for a leaky shower, or essential building work which brings down the balance below $10,000, they can recoup those costs as well. If by chance the maintenance is extensive and you have to take out a bank loan to pay for them, the weekly repayments to the bank can be added on as a second mortgage to assist with that as well.
Furthermore, if that family earns less than $702 a week - thats approx. $36,500 a year - they can get up to $450.00 in free food if they run out of money. That's equivalent to 72% of Cullen's annual tax cut (October 2008) for those earning under $35,000.
The low income family can also get an interest free loan to pay the power bill if they are threatened with a disconnection notice. Actually, you don't have to run out of money, if you have $1534.76 in the bank, you can still get a food grant -but that money in the bank will have to have been earmarked for something else - like paying the credit card, rates, motor vehicle repairs, or another essential bill.
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