Working for Families no help to most needy, agency says

Otago Daily Times 29 Jan 2009

One of the Labour government’s most comprehensive social assistance packages, Working for Families, has “failed to impact on the lives of the most vulnerable”, a Presbyterian Support Otago report on poverty has found. Working for Families (WFF) was introduced by Labour in 2004 and has been adopted by the National Government, which has promised to retain all its entitlements. But the report “Can we do better?”, which aimed to see what life was like on a low income in Dunedin in 2008, said WFF was never intended to address the often “desperate circumstances” of single adults and beneficiaries and a majority of people in the study were no better off because of it. Nearly a third of the 90 participants in the study were ineligible for WFF because they were single adults, non-custodial parents or married couples without children.