Tolley says being on benefit not a lifestyle

The Ministry of Social Development handed out 80,202 sanctions to clients between July 2013 and September 2014, mainly for people not turning up to appointments.

Other reasons for sanctions leading to cuts or cancellation of benefits are failing to attend seminars or not providing proof of a job search.

Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley said people were told what their obligations were when they first signed up for a benefit.
She told Morning Report anyone who was wrongly sanctioned was fully reimbursed.

“There is a process, there are things that they are required to do,” said Ms Tolley.

“This is not a lifestyle – there are obligations, and the obligations can be a simple as turning up for an appointment.
“If people do not do that, that is a choice that they are making.”

And Ms Tolley said there was help available for people who were struggling to re-apply for their benefit.

“I’ve watched the case managers working with these people, I’ve seen them at the counters and where they are having difficulty filling in forms there are people sitting and standing with them helping them to do it.” Continue reading

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