19 Aug 2011

Some beneficiaries support teen spending limits

12:53 pm on 19 August 2011

Some beneficiaries are supporting limits on the spending of teenagers who are on benefits.

National has announced a new youth welfare policy under which the Government would pay directly for rent, and essentials like electricity, 16- and-17-year-old beneficiaries and those 18-year-olds on benefit who have with children.

They would also get a food payment card that would not be able to be used to buy alcohol or tobacco.

A former street kid, Lani Hunt, now 28 and unemployed, says not being able to buy alcohol with his benefit would have removed temptation.

A grandmother and invalid beneficiary, Doris Rangipunga, says restrictions could help people aged up to 25 make better choices.

Jayden Pihama, 17, has voluntarily agreed for his board to be paid automatically from his benefit. He is left with $36 and says teenagers should be free to enjoy their limited spare cash.