The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
A stronger case for welfare debt relief

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A stronger case for welfare debt relief

Labour quietly changed welfare debt rules in July to allow more forgiveness and interest-free debt; Will National keep it? Bridges-chaired firm being probed on migrant abuse; Schengen for Pacific?
Beneficiaries are advised to approach Winz for assistance, but that deepens the debt trap many find themselves in. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TL;DR: Labour quietly changed the rules for welfare and tax debt owed by beneficiaries to make forgiveness and interest-free loans easier in July, but National may not keep the changes.

The changes reinforce the need for this $3.5 billion of debt to be wiped, given over 70% of beneficiary households with children owe an average of over $4,000 each to MSD, IRD and the courts, while also suffering housing, energy and food poverty.

Elsewhere in the news this morning:

  • A Simon Bridges-chaired construction company is being investigated for migrant abuse, as Stuff’s Steve Kilgallon reports

  • National would have to dramatically scale back its tax cuts if it gave in to NZ First’s opposition to its a foreign buyers tax, reversing a building depreciation move, re-imposing chemist fees and dumping the Provincial Growth Fund; Craig Renney via X and,

  • Wellington City Council decided to sell its Airport shares, abandon a pedestrian bridge repair and cut funding for a pool upgrade and garden upgrades to avoid breaching its debt limits. The Spinoff’s Joel MacManus reports.

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A stronger case to forgive the welfare & court debt

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