Thursday, February 26, 2015

Getting to the crux of welfare dependence

Quick cut and paste of, for me anyway, quite exciting analysis.

New Insights

Age of Entry and Intergenerational Benefit Receipt
·         75% of the liability is attributable to clients that first entered benefits under the age of 20. A key finding of this valuation is the extent to which early entry is co-related with intergenerational benefit receipt.
·         For Youth benefit clients as at 30 June 2014:
§  88% (9 in 10) were from beneficiary families, the majority of whom received a main benefit for most of their teen years. 
§  51% were in beneficiary families for 80% or more of their teen years.

·         The correlation is striking enough to believe that early entry may be a proxy for intergenerational benefit receipt (with the notable exception of teen-aged SLP entrants).
·         The evaluation looked specifically at the share of beneficiaries up to age 25 that can be matched to a record of parental benefit receipt - a “benefit match”. We also looked at the extent of their family’s exposure to benefits, during each matched beneficiary’s teenage years (13-18).
·         These figures show that inter-generational correlations are very strong – most young clients in the benefit system had some exposure to the benefit system through a parent or guardian.
·         Nearly three quarters (74%) of all beneficiaries up to age 25 had a parent on benefit while they were a child, and just over a third (35%) had a parent on benefit throughout their teenage years.
·         The greater the family benefit history the longer the client tended to stay on a benefit, particularly for the Jobseeker benefit.
·         For instance, a client whose parent was intensively in the system during ages 13-18 was then 48% more likely to remain on JS-WR after a year compared to those clients matched to a non-beneficiary parent. Their exits were also less sustainable; on leaving the system, they were 11% more likely to be back on benefits within two years.

To summarise, three quarters of the forward cost of welfare rests with those who go on welfare under twenty. The inter-generational  "notable exception" of supported living payment beneficiaries (SLP) is due to intellectual and other disability affecting young people transitioning into adulthood .

This emphatically highlights the last Labour government's folly of concentrating all their efforts on the unemployment benefit (albeit successfully reducing numbers).

On Carmel Sepuloni's "conflict of interest"

On one hand I can agree with the Whale that Carmel Sepuloni should not be punished for the (alleged) sins of her mother. Andrew Little has stood her down from the welfare portfolio because her mother is facing numerous benefit fraud charges, citing a "conflict of interests".

On the other, Sepuloni has a history of getting directly involved with WINZ staff and interfering in their decisions.

In her own words, after intervening to get a benefit reinstated when someone volunteering in her office missed a WINZ seminar thereby breaking the rules of entitlement:

Get it together WINZ! Not all of these poor young people are going to have an MP on their case, who can ring up and leave rather firm voice messages for you when these mistakes happen.

She set a precedent that has bearing on the current circumstances.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Typical attack on ACT

This writer makes some questionable assumptions.

I am 40 plus plus and would vote for a rise in the qualifying age (at the very least). The writer forgets that many of the group he assumes will vote with self-interest uppermost are also parents worried about the looming taxation burden on their children's (and grand children's) generation.

Also the "apathy" he refers to amongst the 18 to 30 year-olds would  not be a 'given'  if this debate took off.

And typically, ACT's proposal is misrepresented. The writer has framed the issue as one of retaining or losing Super when what Seymour proposed is a "referendum to determine the future structure of New Zealand Super."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The main driver of child poverty

40 percent of Maori mothers are unpartnered.

From the Household Incomes Report:

the poverty rate for children in sole-parent families living on their own is high at 60%...
the poverty rate for children in two-parent families is much lower at 14%,
What would a policy to improve marriage or partnership rates look like?

Stopping the subsidisation of sole parent families.