Thursday, April 03, 2014

Long term benefit dependency - no inroads made yet

MSD now only reports duration of benefit as less or more than 1 year so I put in an OIA to get the breakdown they previously published. I've graphed some of the data supplied. The first compares 2008 to 2013:

It's not a great picture. But perhaps to be expected given the GFC. The ten years plus dependency is a worry. With our rapidly ageing population the numbers long-term dependent should be moving onto Super at a faster rate than prior yet the number has actually increased slightly.

The height of the GFC effect was in 2010 so it's worth looking at what improvement there has been since:

As you'd expect the shorter term dependants decreased. But the 4-10 years number increased and the ten plus number has barely budged.

If I use the National government's official definition of long-term dependent  - one year plus - the percentage has actually increased ever so slightly between 2010 and 2013 from 69 percent to 69.4 percent.


JC said...

Twenty odd years ago when Douglas was swinging the big stick I talked to the personelle officer of one of NZ's biggest companies. He said that if he could get a youngster within 6 months of leaving school he could produce a good employee, but heading out to a year unemployed wasn't worth his time because the kid had developed patterns and attitudes that were too hard to shift.

Times have changed but I think that basic premise still holds and it requires the sort of near unlimited support that only the Govt can afford to change those attitudes.

But.. changing attitudes is all very well but you still have to find a job for kids who are neither numeric or literate in a tough time.


S.Beast said...

Over age 30 who are long termers on SLiP can expect for the most part to remain despite the WAA coming in.

The ministry has cut a couple of critical program that benefited this older group. The Mainstream funding was frozen and subsequently now being used to target those 18-25 years of age. The old Enterprise Allowance Grant (now a component of Flexi wage) targeting those disadvantaged in employment has been cut drastically and who knows if there will be any budget for it in the coming years.

This occurs in combination with difficulty in accessing the treatment system. At primary level some clients don't even have their own GP. Beyond this the health system is sluggish and overwhelmed with clients.

The PATHS scheme only supports those into the health system where there is a clear nexus to work. This makes sense but for those with issues that take longer to treat there remain significant barriers to gaining treatment.

NZMC have raised concerns around the WAA. Hopefully MSD have acted and tweaked their assessments so that long term disabled have a decent shot not just at work, but at a proper recovery.