Entitlement to most benefits and social assistant transfers are heavily reliant on the couple unit of assessment. This has serious impacts on a growing number of single people, solo parents and their potential partners
This report focuses on modernising the welfare system and social assistance system in New Zealand to reflect the changes in labour market behaviour, wage-setting and the prevalence of partnership dissolution and solo parenthood. It discusses the possibility of removing or reducing reliance on couple based unit of assessment and associated requirements for relationship testing. The report finds that it would be possible to completely individualise the welfare and social assistance systems and remove any need for relationship-status testing.