Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How benefits create need

Further analysis of Treasury spending projections shows that they are predicting the number of people on the DPB will rise to over 120,000 by 2014. (This allows for a cost of living rise of 2% each year). I wonder what Treasury bases this on? Have they, for instance, factored in work-testing, which should see a drop based on previous NZ experience? In which case, are they predicting growth elsewhere?

There is a subset of recipients, those caring for the sick and infirm, people who would otherwise be hospitalised, which is growing quite quickly. When you think about that group, it is also enlarged by the greater degree of family breakdown. Historically women provided this sort of care unpaid as they were supported financially by a husband. Benefits create a domino effect. Initial uptake leads to further uptake. Similarly a single parent who stays single and welfare dependent can't provide support for a daughter that gets pregnant without a partner. She, in turn, goes on a benefit.

The domino effect is just one way that the welfare state actually creates need.

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