last modified January 30, 2013 by BarryLarsen

  • WINZ response (as of September 2012) about how they currently regard TimeBanking in relation to benefits - attached below as WINZ_Response (Link for their policies on work-related income - "Goods,Services, Accomodation in lieu of Money" may be especially relevant - here). (Barry)
  • Possible upside: discussing situation of a client yesterday it occurred to me that if WINZ insist on taking a hard line on need to declare TB as income it could have the upside of meaning that beneficiaries can use TB work to count for their benefit work requirement. Have yet to explore this one with WINZ (Barry, 31 Jan 2013)

    Further thoughts from Emma and Strypey:
    • In their page about Green Dollar Trading WINZ states "Periodic payments for what is little more than a good deed for another person will not be considered as regular income in the assessment of the respective benefit." and so regarding Green Dollar trading, the task for the case manager at WINZ is to establish "whether the person has clearly established themselves as a regular trader within the scheme" - which I understand to be receiving and spending a consistent amount on a weekly basis, and the Green Dollars administration team providing evidence that the person has a history of regular trading. If that is the case, then "income received will be chargeable."
    • Trading in time credits is usually 'periodic' and definitely falls under the category of 'a good deed for another person' as opposed to 'regular income'. Therefore time banking should not be treated as income for the purposes of reducing somebody's benefit?
    • Unlike Green Dollars, which are easier to 'convert' into NZ$, it is impossible to convert time credits (earned for a range of different services) into a dollar figure. Especially because their 'dollar value' (if they had one) is not consistent. You might earn 1 time credit for giving a 60min massage, and then spend that time credit on 1 hour of having somebody give you some listening time and companionship over a cup of tea. So, the 'spending power' of your time credits ranges widely over many different skills. It simply doesn't work to try and convert the time credits to $NZ. Your 'spending power' also depends on what skills are currently available within your local timebank.
    • NZ$ are legal tender (which means people have to accept them) for the settlement of all bills, invoices and debts. In contrast, acceptance of Green Dollars and Time Credits is voluntary. At any time, the members of a Green Dollar or TimeBank exchange could choose to stop accepting G$ or Time Credits as payment for their goods and services. So their value at any given time is relative to how many people are participating in your local exchange system.
    Barry - thank-you for starting this page and uploading your letter from WINZ!