22 May 2012

UN critical of NZ welfare reforms

4:06 pm on 22 May 2012

The United Nations has criticised New Zealand's proposed welfare reforms for breaching human rights.

Its committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says the welfare changes are inconsistent with international obligations and the Government should reconsider work tests for single parents.

The reforms require those on the Domestic Purposes Benefit to seek part-time work when their youngest child is five years old and fulltime work when they are 14.

The Green Party's welfare spokesperson, Jan Logie, says the Government cannot ignore the committee's concerns and should pull back on the reforms, as they are an international disgrace.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says she will consider the UN report, but does not believe that the changes breach human rights obligations.

Ms Bennett says the committee may change its view once it knows the intent of the policy.