Social Development Minister Paula Bennett today announced the new Work and Income board members to oversee the investment approach to welfare.
This new approach will be embedded at all levels of the welfare system and the Board will be responsible for ensuring accountability and overseeing the delivery of reforms that will see fewer people on welfare for long periods.
“Paula Rebstock will chair the Board with five other members from outside the public service with a wide range of relevant experience and expertise.”
‘They will help make decisions about which interventions work best for individuals and will oversee trials to collect best evidence,” says Mrs Bennett.
The Work and Income Board will:
- Advise and support the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development in the implementation of welfare reforms
- Report to the Minister for Social Development, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of State Services on Work and Income’s performance
The Board members are:
- Ms Paula Rebstock (Chair)
- Dr Ian McPherson
- Professor Kathryn McPherson
- Mr Andrew Body
- Mr Reg Barrett
- Ms Debbie Packer
Members of the Board have experience in the insurance and finance industries which already use investment approaches to reduce future liability.
“The lifetime cost of today’s total number of beneficiaries is estimated at $45 billion. It makes good economic and social sense to provide targeted support up front to get more people into work sooner, ” Mrs Bennett says.
Each year an actuarial valuation will be completed to determine the long-term future spend on the benefit system, taking into account how long clients are likely to remain on benefits and wider economic and demographic trends.
The valuation will provide vital information to the Board and Work and Income on the drivers of cost in the welfare system along with priority areas and groups for investment to reduce long term benefit dependency.
The Government is investing $1.1 million in the six-member board over the next four years. The Board are appointed for 15 months. The Minister will review the operation by June 2013
Source: Ministry of Social Development