Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Core Crown expenses and welfare spending
Welfare, including Super, accounts for one third of expenditure.
In 2006 Treasury forecast welfare expenses in 2010 would be $18.975 billion. They under-forecast welfare by over $2 billion.
The 2010 welfare expenditure breakdown:
If all of the expenditure that relates to working age welfare is totalled the sum is $9.379 billion. Divide that by the number of working age beneficiaries at June 2010 - 333,000 - to get an average sum of $28,165. That figure will be slightly high as a small percentage of the accommodation supplement and other allowances are received by Super annuitants or non-beneficiaries, so let's conservatively call it $27,000.
Now I know I am labouring a point here but an average income of $519 per week does not describe abject poverty. The Sue Bradford group wants New Zealanders to believe that current benefits of $194 a week for a single adult or $366 for a sole parent with one child are "simply too low to live on". Her numbers do not reflect reality. Some individuals may be living on basic benefits but the resulting call is for all beneficiaries to receive an increase. If the problem is inaccurately described, so is the solution.