Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More on newborns added to a DPB

In 2010 4,800 newborns were added to a DPB

59 percent of the caregivers were Maori, 23 percent NZ European, 12 percent Pacific.

The highest rate of additions were in:

South Taranaki

(Notice most of these are also areas associated with gang presence?)

The younger the mother appears in the system the higher the likelihood she will add further children. Those beginning aged 16-17 had a 45 percent possibility of adding further children.

Finally the following graph shows the rate of additional births between 1994 and 2010:


Anonymous said...

Notice also that the areas are associated with a lack of job opportunities, so if you want an income, the DPB is an attractive option.

Anonymous said...

You're very selective in the parts of the cabinet paper research you publish on your website Lindsay.

Annex to Cabinet Paper C quite clearly states that "studies suggest that the prime motivating factor in the decision to have a second child is the desire to provide a sibling of a similar age... However, not all births will be planned. For children in the Growing Up in New Zealand study, 40 percent of the pregnancies were unplanned. Given associations between unplanned births and young age and low educational qualifications found in that study, we expect the percentage to be higher amongst DPB clients having additional children." This would also account for those beginning aged 16-17 having a 45 percent possibility of adding further children.

Why this should lead the government to conclude that the best way to remedy this situation is to make the grace period 1 year before DPB recipients are obliged to search for work for a second child beats me. As if it would serve as any deterent to young teenage mothers that are more likely to have a child shortly after their first from having subsequent children! Unplanned pregnancies occur because they are unplanned not because the young person is calculating how long they can spend on the DPB without having to work.

As for the graph showing the greater incidence of subsequent children being born on the DPB over time, it's interesting how that incidence has increased dramatically since the National government got elected in 2008. Maybe it has nothing to do with government Welfare policy.

The cabinet paper itself suggests the following possible reasons:

* reduced employment opportunities for men reducing the likelihood that they are able to be the breadwinner for a family, and increasing the likelihood that having children takes place outside of a partnership in some social groups

* reduced employment opportunities for women changing either the timing of births, or increasing the likelihood that they are supported by benefit in the event of a birth

* changing access to reproductive health services, or changing attitudes about using health services

* changing social norms and expectations around partnerships and child rearing

So what is the National government doing to improve any of these possible causes? Absolutely nothing! No job creation during a global recession. No improvement in reproductive health services. No incentives to gain an education while on the DPB (they axed the Training incentive allowance).

I suspect their Welfare reform is best described as a "scapegoat" to keep us all occupied while they sell off assets and get the government into just as much debt as Labour would have without creating any viable economic growth (i.e. jobs).