Friday, July 03, 2009

MSD take a year to release statistics

Yesterday the Ministry of Social Development released their annual statistical report - 1 year after the most recent statistical information contained therein. It covers the 30 June 07 to 30 June 2008 period. That means we can look forward to having current statistics available in a year's time.

At the end of June 2008 there were 258,317 people on a main benefit. Towards the end of June 2009 there were 302,000. So some trends depicted in the report have reversed.

But here is a smattering of tables and graphs of particular interest;

Firstly this table shows welfare expenditure as a share of gdp.

Note that the total expenditure on pensions and main benefits was $9,285,000. Yet if you check 2008 Crown Expenses tables you will actual 2008 Social Security and Welfare spending at $17,877,000. This includes all of the other expenditure like accommodation supplement, emergency benefits,etc and the cost of running the whole kit and kaboodle. That pushes the share of gdp up to just short of 10 percent. The share of total government spending is 31 percent.

The next is interesting because it illustrates the extent of DPB 'churning'.

These figures relate only to grants - not total numbers of recipients. Of the 36,494 people granted the DPB in 2007/08 only 23 percent had either never received a benefit before or not within the last four years. Over three quarters were transferring benefits or returning. This indicates being on the DPB is more a way of life than an unusual and temporary event.

The next two tables again show grants, not total numbers, and provide reasons for those grants.

There was a big annual increase in invalid benefit grants (36 percent) and psychological and psychiatric conditions continue to trend up with both invalid and sickness grants. Nearly all of the growth in sickness grants was due to psychological/psychiatric disorders and substance abuse.

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