remember the government's "re-start" package, which was supposed to:
provide short-term support to low to moderate income families with children, and to people with high housing costs, who have been made redundant. It is there to help people get back on their feet.
well, i was talking to an employment lawyer last week who said that it is extremely difficult to actually get this money. clients have been telling her that the criteria are so tight that they are not qualifying. $50 million was set aside for this package, to be spent over two years. apparently only about $3 million of this has actually been spent.
i can't find any verification of this figure on-line, but on 6 august, we have questioning in the house which states that:
... the number of people accessing the much-trumpeted ReStart package has gone down each week this month at the same time as unemployment is rapidly rising ...
if this is true, then it looks like WINZ is moving back to that 90's ideology of trying to prevent people from accessing the help they are legitimately entitled to and genuinely need. and what is the point of announcing a major package and taking the favourable publicity, when in practice few people are getting the promised help.
i'd certainly be interested to hear if anyone else has similar experiences in them or their clients accessing this package.