Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When did the recession begin?

The NZ Herald reports:

Some 161,000 people had been on benefits for at least five of the last 10 years, and another 139,000 people had been on benefits for at least 10 years.

If this is correct then  half of current beneficiaries have been on welfare for five or more years and 43 percent  for 10 or more.

Remind me, when did the recession begin?

And coincidentally today's welfare reform protest at Ministry of Social Development Auckland offices featured the theme, "Job creation, not intimidation."


Anonymous said...

do we know what type of benefit these folk were on?

Keith Ng said...

"If this is correct..."

It's not. The figures (calculated from June 2012 figures) are here. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AiAL2_VVwG56dE9UX2NxbEJZbTRjZ0VjSUlnWGJvaEE

Bennett's "139,000" claim is about double what MSD figures show.

FYI, around half of those who've been on benefits for 10 years or more are on Invalid's Benefit. And around a third of that have come from another benefit.

Lindsay Mitchell said...


The figures you are using relate to time spent in continuous "current" spells. But many individuals cycle on and off a benefit. So their cumulative time differs. When Bennett says, "Some 161,000 people had been on benefits for at least five of the last 10 years," she didn't say they'd been on a benefit continuously. Many of the individuals included in her statistic would appear in another category when it comes to your statistics.

The second part of the quote, "....and another 139,000 people had been on benefits for at least 10 years" didn't have the qualifier "of the last ten years." So again we can't assume they were continuous spells. If the qualifier should have been there, then you are correct.

I'm prepared to accept that the Herald may have misquoted the Minister. But based on my experience of him I expect Simon Collins would get it right.

Lindsay Mitchell said...


Table MB.3 shows around 189,000 MSD clients returning to a benefit after 6 months or longer in financial year 2010/11.

Viking said...

ytedope 59
NZ hasn't ever left recessionary status since 1973. It goes up and down but we have not in all that time had a healthy economy that paid its way in the world.
What started it all. Hikes in the price of oil that caused everything we but to spiral upwards whilst our return on our own production has dropped making us poorer and poorer allowing the sociualist Govt's of left and right to install beneficiary programs to cure everyones ails.Only real fix is to get our exports and productivity into a relative profitable position whilst slowing our spending. i.e. make companies aggressive and profitable.Govt. can't but it can change the rules which they won't.