A National Party promise to raise the allowable income for beneficiaries to $100 a week appears to have been bumped down the priority list by pressures to restrain spending.

Wellington poverty researcher Graham Howell says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett told him at a Wellington regional jobs summit last week the increase from $80 to $100 a week would not be in this year's Budget, due on May 28.

"She said it was on the work programme but had not yet been put before the Cabinet," he said.

Ms Bennett yesterday refused to discuss what might be in the Budget, but said the National Party had never specified when it would raise the allowable income.

"I am personally committed to making this change during the current term," she said.

The party's welfare policy, issued last August, said the change would cost $17 million a year. The $80 income limit had not been changed since 1996 and was seen as a barrier to getting back to work, especially for parents on the domestic purposes benefit (DPB) who could not work fulltime.

The apparent decision to defer lifting the allowable income appears to be linked to Ms Bennett's decision last month to defer another policy, which would have required parents on the DPB to work or train for at least 15 hours a week when their youngest child turned 6.

She said that policy had been put on hold because people were being made redundant and jobs were in short supply.

She reiterated yesterday that the Government was still committed to introducing the policy when jobs became available.

"It's still part of the Government's agenda, but not immediately," a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Development also confirmed yesterday that its flagship publication, the Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, was being reviewed for financial reasons.

The journal was published twice a year from 1993 to 2003, and three times a year from 2004 to 2007, but has not appeared since March last year.

Ministry deputy chief executive Don Gray said the ministry recognised the journal's importance but was reviewing its future.

"We are currently reviewing all of our ministry publications as part of our value-for- money work. We want to have discussions with the minister about the journal before we make any decisions about its future shape."

Other demands on staff responsible for the journal had delayed publication of the last two volumes.

"We are hoping to get these published within the next few weeks.

"Another volume is well advanced for publication in the next month or so."