Friday, January 04, 2008

Media Release
Thursday, January 3, 2008

According to a recently published Ministry of Social Development report, one third of surveyed sole parents receiving the DPB expressed no interest in looking for work. The report, The 2002 Domestic Purposes and Widow's Benefit Reform: Evaluation Report also found that since the controversial removal of work testing in 2003, the 'exit rate' for recipients whose youngest child is 14 or older has dropped.

"There is no surprise that other factors associated with the fall in this group's exit rate (the rate at which people leave the benefit) included being a teenager when the oldest child was born, having already spent a large proportion of their time in the benefit system and being Maori or Pacific. What should worry the Ministry, " said welfare commentator, Lindsay Mitchell, "is the number of very young newcomers has not decreased. In September 1999 there were 2,687 18-19 year-olds on the DPB. By September 2007 the number had increased by 15 percent to 3,093. Additionally there are typically six or seven hundred 16 and 17 year-old teenage parents receiving the Emergency Maintenance Allowance at any given time."

"Most of the Work and Income's resources have been focussed on getting more amenable cases into work or training, Meanwhile nothing has been done to discourage the inflow of those mothers who will stay the longest in the system."

"Some case managers reported that the Personal Employment and Development Plans, which replaced work-testing, have made little impression on women who have been on the benefit for six to twelve years who use the new system 'to their advantage'. Others said that their clients showed no interest in keeping a copy of their plan or binned it on the way out. The report states, 'There was a general feeling among case managers that for many people, having a copy of their PDEP was not something they valued highly.' "

"While the number of sole parents on the DPB has dropped, the reasons are complex and may have little to do with the reforms. This is acknowledged by the authors of the report. The drop may be an effect of low unemployment, the Working for Families incentives and the ageing population. Certainly the removal of full-time work-testing for those with children aged fourteen or older has had a negative impact."


Anonymous said...

I despair. I ask myself: am I the only one who has lost hope?

Not a rethorical question but a very pertinent one, when you look at the statistics quoted by Lindsay.

What will be the future of our country if we continue down the road of unimpeded state intervention and abdication of personal responsibility in most aspects of daily life?

The future is bleak.

Anonymous said...

On a DPB a mother or father doing the work of a mother and father is now expected to be taking on a third job, obviously considered to be more important than looking after children; they are children until they are 18.

A true story - woman with two children, on DPB. Spent years working on a voluntary basis with thousands of young girls teaching them team work in a nz sport. Has probably turned young lives around and taught them the value of working together to achieve a goal. Is told she must get a job, any job that is paid, or she will lose her benefit. That could be cleaning someone else's toilet, whatever, as long as money changes hands. Which do you consider more important Lindsay? Until sole mothers and fathers are given full respect for the work they do, then their children will always face a harder future.
Lucky for the children of this woman that she had faith in herself and their future as now one owns their own business and the other is doing tertiary training. Instead of knocking beneficiaries, look at the reasons they are having to go it alone, in the first place.
Of all the benefits the state pays, bringing up children is the least thanked and the most vilified. I say leave the children with the father. That will change the whole way of thinking. The National Govt will have free day care, creches in every company, medals for managing a career and fatherhood...(don't leave them at Waiouru tho'...

Anonymous said...

Just been looking at your top blurb.

What would you replace the welfare state with - the moral turpitude of the church? Men in charge at home? Tell us where you are going with this idea. I just want to know where women fit into your great scheme.