Simon Collins summarises what he thinks the stand out points are. A reference to benefit levels - especially the one that relates particularly to child poverty - appears.
A graph in the briefing paper shows that the income of a sole-parent beneficiary with one child has dropped by almost 20 per cent in real terms since 1983, while the net average ordinary-time wage has risen in real terms over the same period by more than 30 per cent.
"In light of the short and long-term costs of child poverty to individuals and communities and relatively flat trend lines in levels of child poverty and hardship, it is important to continue to make progress in this area," it says.
"Alleviating hardship for children in the 'here-and-now' is an investment to improve life chances and child wellbeing in other domains, and reduces the potential harm and costs (including economic costs) to society.
"Within this multi-pronged approach, options could be explored to review the adequacy of the existing transfer payments, notably in the case of families with children."
The 'here and now' phrase worries me. That is exactly what increases future risk.
In short MSD are recommending to the Minister that sole parent benefit levels should rise despite the proven risks that this will result in more single parents and more unemployed households.
By the way, the graph is lifted from the Household Incomes Report (C.8) which states,
"None of the scenario lines include the Accommodation Supplement or the subsidy received by those on income-related rents vis-à-vis market rents."
The same applies to C.7 which fills out the picture. When a typical South Auckland accommodation supplement is added the SPS (ex DPB) with two children rises to $642 weekly:
Update: Received a link in a subscription e-mail posted at 5.00am this morning. Simon Collins sure reads and writes fast.