- reducing the benefit cap further
- stopping under 25s claiming a housing benefit
- limiting tax credits to the first two children only
Items 2 and 3 could be implemented in NZ. The first is trickier.
The benefit cap applies to the total amount of benefit going into one household. There is no benefit cap in NZ so it can't be reduced.
It is interesting then, that our government - for the first time - has been exploring multi-benefit household statistics. If a benefit cap was on the cards here the first thing needed would be data. And there it was in the last Benefit System Performance Report.
126,126 main benefit clients (or 40% of main benefit clients) live in a household with two or more people receiving main benefits. 30% of the 126,126 are partners on related benefits. While some correlation between employment prospects or health status of people in the same household is expected, the extent to which there are multi-beneficiary households seems high. 35,150 main benefit clients (or 11%) live in a household with three or more people receiving benefits.
The rationale behind the benefit cap:
The government introduced a cap on the total amount of benefit that working-age households can get so that, broadly, households on out-of-work benefits will no longer get more in welfare payments than the average weekly wage for working households.That would not be a difficult policy for National to sell.