NewstalkZB has me saying that National's leaked goal of moving 46,000 off a benefit is "unambitious". I suggested they could double that target. Not sure if they are using other soundbites from the comments I made on request (with very limited information) but here is my reasoning.
People will naturally leave the unemployment benefit as the economy improves. They already are. That's what happened between 2004 and 2007 when the total on the dole dropped by 45,000. So National could meet their three year target without any focus or improvement on the other benefits.
I also said that at $9000 a job, that's very expensive from the taxpayer's point of view. Especially if an improving economy can achieve the same reduction without the extra expenditure.
And it's all very well to talk about moving people off welfare but the arguably more important goal is to stop them moving on. For example of all the babies born in 2010 23 percent were relying on welfare by the end of the year. People going on the DPB with a newborn will frequently stay there for many years - unlike those who typically have a much shorter stay on the unemployment benefit.
NZ income mobility remains good
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