The minister for social welfare Paula Bennett has hinted she may make changes to her previous cuts to the Training Incentive Allowance, following questions in Parliament last week. Green MP Jan Logie asked Ms Bennett to explain why only students studying for qualifications of level three or below are eligible for the training incentive allowance. Similarly, Labour MP Jacinda Ardern asked, “Why is a sole parent with exactly the same set of circumstances eligible for more assistance if they train to become a hairdresser than if they train to be a nurse, as set out by her training incentive allowance policy?”
Ms Bennett told Parliament she would not going to pre-empt the Work and Income board, which is yet to be appointed, or its investment approach, but “it could be that it looks at level 4 and above and decides to do things differently. It will look at level 3 and below and try to do that differently, I am sure, as well. So, without pre-empting it, it could decide that there could be extra assistance needed for level 4 and above.”
Ms Bennett’s ‘investment approach’ is part of her wider welfare reform policy that will attempt to limit people’s access to social welfare in order to encourage them into work.