Wednesday, January 20, 2010

9 on dole for 20 years - so what?

So, Stuff tells us, 9 people have been on the unemployment benefit for more than 20 years. This unimpressive piece of trivia hides more than it reveals about the general degree of dependence on benefits. I believe the Ministry does not want that known because they have never conducted the research or supplied data in a form that would reveal its extent. But US and Australian research would indicate the level is likely to be high.

Looking at just the DPB for example 10,700 people have received that benefit continuously for 10 or more years; 15,800 have received that benefit or any other continuously for 10 or more years.

But many people have breaks off a benefit where they might work a period or form a relationship temporarily. They then drop out of the numbers that have been continuously on benefit. That doesn't mean their level of dependence is significantly less over a long period or over a lifetime. At June 2007 43,866 people on the DPB were reliant for a second (third, fourth etc) time. Many of them would not be featuring in the continuously dependent for 10 years or more despite having been cumulatively dependent for 10 or more years.

Bearing this significant short-coming in mind, across all benefits 37,300 people have been reliant continuously on their current benefit for 10 years or more; 62,000 have been reliant on their current or any other benefit for 10 years or more.

The highest rate of long-term dependence naturally features among invalid beneficiaries, but it is followed by the DPB. As partnered women with dependent children have higher employment rates than unpartnered, it is safe to conclude that single mothers are dependent on the state for longer than partnered women depend on their spouses or de factos.

It should be the other way around. But I see Paula Bennett is stalling again about introducing work-testing - the government is "still working on its welfare manifestos" - the very least National should be doing.


Anonymous said...

What irks me is that solo mothers earn more on the DPB than hard working parents. I know people who pay off whole mortgages on very nice homes, through the govt. Hasn't NZ gotten things topsy-turvy. Do nothing, get well rewarded, work hard, get heavily taxed. Very fair, not.

Anonymous said...

It's not fair is the cry of losers.

We can end welfare dependancy overnight by ending welfare. There is simply no other solution! Not Clinton lifetime limits or Rogers wanky insurance schemes.

Just stop the whole mess overnight. No money. No benefits. No stinking whinging bludgers!