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The Remote Client Unit has been established to provide an avenue for clients, who have been assessed as posing a high risk to the safety of Ministry staff in Service Centres nationwide, to continue to access Ministry services.
The Government is considering cancelling unemployment benefits after a year and forcing beneficiaries to reapply.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett unveiled the radical proposal a day after revelations that 300 long-term beneficiaries are receiving more than $1000 a week from the taxpayer.
It was revealed yesterday that the Harris family in Christchurch had received unemployment and sickness benefits for 25 years and recently received special-needs grants from Work and Income to fence their swimming pool and put new tyres on their 2007 Chrysler saloon.
You might be interested to know that the vast majority of DPB recipients are in fact sole parents who have been married or in a relationship and who have lost the support of their husbands or partners for a variety of reasons.
With regards to your other question on the reporting of the relationship status of single parents currently receiving the DPB, up until 2000 the Ministry included data on the relationship status of clients at the time they were granted Domestic Purposes Benefit in the Statistical Report. However since 2000 this information has not formed part of the Ministry's formal reporting and has not been reported on since 2003. As you are aware the Ministry is not required under the Official Information Act 1982 to create information in order to meet the specific requirements of an individual request. For this reason your request for this information was declined under section 18(e) of the Act.
Liberal Leader Tony Abbott said the result vindicated his party's decision not to support the Federal Government's emissions trading scheme legislation, while Greens deputy leader Christine Milne said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd should be held responsible for ''trying to bully those who wanted a real deal into accepting his greenwash''.