Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More misinformation from MSM

Yesterday the DomPost published misinformation about benefit entitlement. Now the NZ Herald is getting it wrong as well.

The main unemployment benefit is not available under 18. The only benefit payable below that age, the independent youth benefit (IYB), was paid to only 1750 teenagers at the end of June.

As I said yesterday, the unemployment benefit is available but only under certain, unusual circumstances. For most intents and purposes it isn't available.

But to say that the Independent Youth Benefit is the only benefit payable below 18 is nonsense. Sickness, invalid, training, emergency and DPB (Emergency Maintenance Allowance) are all available. So too is the student allowance. Remember yesterday's table?

Should 16 and 17 year-olds qualify for welfare? The approach to parental responsibility is mixed. For instance child support is paid until a dependent reaches 18 ( and in some cases 19). Then when it comes to eligibility for a student allowance parental income is means tested until the age of 24.

National needs to bite the bullet on this one and stop dithering. Sixteen and seventeen year-olds should be the responsibility of their parents. As it is, they attract decent family tax credits of up to around $100.

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