Thursday, January 17, 2013

DPB numbers dropping?

The Minister of Social Development has just announced that there were 339,095 people on benefits at the end of December 2012. She hasn't released much more by way of detail about individual benefits and MSD don't have the data available at their site yet.

But she does say:

The number of sole parents on the DPB dropped 1.6% over the quarter to 95,138 and 3,221 sole parents went off this benefit into work in that period.
What she isn't saying is that single parents aged 18 now go onto the Young Parent Payment.

This will be accounting for some of the decrease. For instance between the June and September quarters the percentage of those on the DPB aged 18-19 dropped from 2.7 to 1.7%. It's never been that low.

While 3,221 left for work, that's typical. People go off, people go on, year long.

No. I reckon the drop the Minister is claiming as a 'positive' is a sleight of hand. Perhaps not intentional.

But I'll ring the MSD media team and find out where the Young Parent Payment statistics are being recorded and published.


Anonymous said...

What you've said is indeed true, Lindsay.
It's also true, however, that that "Young Parent Payment" will be much more subject to work-testing than the DPB ever has been.

Bearing in mind the truth of what you've said, it is also possible that a fair proportion of the drop may well be genuine, and (hopefully) the start of a long-overdue decline in DPB payments.
One can only hope..... ;)

Lindsay Mitchell said...

The YPP is better than the DPB because of the restricted cash element of the benefit, and the attention these youngsters will receive from contracted youth services.