The welfare state is unsustainable economically, socially and morally.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Income support by age
The graph above depicts incomes support by age.
I had to make it double axis or it would have been very tall.
The left-hand axis and grey columns show numbers of Super and Veteran pension recipients.
The right-hand axis and coloured lines show numbers of working-age benefit recipients.
Obviously the growth in Super is large at 49% between 2005 and 2015. In behind the 64+ is a steady but small rise of 55-64 year-olds. Interesting that that age band did not change with the recession. Probably because most are not working due to some form of physical incapacity. Their numbers are not affected by changes in the labour market.
The 18-24 and 40-54 are more-or-less back to where the number lay in 2005 (though the rates would be lower as the relevant populations are higher).
The biggest drop in any age group is among 25-39. This is probably partly due to the growth rate in sole parent employment.
It's great that working age benefit numbers are declining albeit slowly. Currently 10.2% of the 18-64 population relies on a benefit. In 2005 it was 12%; in 2000 it was near to 17%
But we need those numbers to keep falling because government expenditure on income support for 64+ will continue to climb quite steeply over the coming years.
Lindsay Mitchell has been researching and commenting on welfare since 2001. Many of her articles have been published in mainstream media and she has appeared on radio,tv and before select committees discussing issues relating to welfare. Lindsay is also an artist who works under commission and exhibits at Wellington, New Zealand, galleries.