Thursday, July 30, 2009

$50m to embark on motherhood unsupported

Media Release

Thursday, 30 July, 2009

Thousands of young women are using the welfare system to embark on motherhood with no partner or financial support.

The claim comes from welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell who says that figures show that during 2008 2,300 females aged 18-24 years-old transferred from a pregnancy-related sickness benefit to the domestic purposes benefit. "These are young women who had no partner or financial support before or after birth."

"In one year alone the cost of supporting these women would be around $50 million. But that is just a start. Typically those who begin on welfare young, stay dependent for many years, often having more children. Because being long-term dependent on welfare has been shown to produce poor educational and health outcomes for both mothers and their children, the downstream costs to society are ongoing. And females born to young single mothers are far more likely to become single mothers themselves repeating the cycle."

At a time when the government is cutting back on funding for severely disabled children and training allowances it is enormously surprising and disappointing that they are determined to ignore this huge problem. Last week, when the NZ Business Roundtable released a paper suggesting the DPB be replaced with time-limited assistance, the Prime Minister described the proposal as 'draconian'. Yet President Clinton and his democratic government did exactly that in the United States during the 1990s.

"The National Party needs to start paying some real attention to how welfare is being used. The public response to this week's revelations of surprisingly high DPB payments and entitlement attitudes should be taken as a strong indication that many want to see significant change."

Tables released under the Official Information Act attached.


Russell said...

Lindsay: Would you be kind enough to drop me an email please?

Tanya H said...

Both interesting and disturbing...will changes be made or the status quo be allowed to stay. The latter, I bet.

brian_smaller said...

No change will occur until two things happen
1. Time limit is put on how long you can be on welfare when you are of working age.
2. Changing rules so that any subsequent children bornn to someone already on a benefit does not attract any more state assistance other than that given to any NZ born citizen (medical care, school, preschool etc)