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Poverty, policy and the stateThe changing face of social security$
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Mr Mike O'Brien

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347992

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347992.001.0001

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National and National-led government: 1990–991

National and National-led government: 1990–991

(p.169) Eight National and National-led government: 1990–991
Poverty, policy and the state

Michael O’Brien

Policy Press

By the time of the 1999 election, there had, then, been a series of key political decisions taken about the shape and structure of the social-security system: the name changed to income support; benefits had been cut significantly and basic benefit rates had not increased in real terms; housing costs consumed a greater part of the income of beneficiaries living in state housing; the community wage had been introduced, with its explicit focus on employment, reciprocal obligations, and incorporating sanctions for non-compliance with the workfare requirements; and in-work payments had been significantly extended, with the discriminatory nature of the extension leading to the exclusion of children in households receiving a social security benefit. At the same time, poverty, especially child poverty, grew significantly, but the response to this shifted from benefit adequacy to greater emphasis on targeting and on individuals securing their income from paid work.

Keywords:   social security, New Zealand, income support, child poverty, community wage, state housing

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