Training incentive a work springboard

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

When a single mum openly states that she feels she has no other option but to resort to prostitution to better her education and get off the DPB, there is something awfully wrong with the system, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern …Jacinda Ardern Social Development Spokesperson

16 February 2012

Training incentive a work springboard

When a single mum openly states that she feels she has no other option but to resort to prostitution to better her education and get off the DPB, there is something awfully wrong with the system, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

Responding to the case of a woman struggling to pay for the costs associated with study, and the lengths she was willing to go to provide a future for her family, Ms Ardern said the Government had to take a serious look at the barriers to work and education.

“This is not the first single parent I have had contact with who has been desperate to get back into education, and eventually work, only to find it’s utterly impossible once child care, transport, course costs, and the most basic living costs are taken into account.

“This particular case is especially appalling given she received incorrect advice from Work and Income. How many other parents have been given similar advice and have given up, limiting their future job prospects?

“New Zealand has one of the worst rates of unemployment among sole parent households in the OECD, alongside Malta and Turkey,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“Training and education is part of the key to parents transitioning off the DPB and giving their families a decent standard of living. We should be doing all we can to find better ways of removing barriers that stop that from happening.

“This Government made changes to the training incentive allowance for sole parents, which saw those studying higher level courses lose out. Its new welfare reform package does nothing to address that issue.

“Labour will undergo its own alternative assessment of the welfare system over the coming year, but in the meantime will continue to challenge the Government to do the obvious- bring back the training incentive allowance, and take a realistic look at the barriers to work and education.

“The system should work as a trampoline, not a trap,” Jacinda Ardern said.

ENDS

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