Friday, February 19, 2010

Paying people to have babies

At a business lunch yesterday the finance Minister was "talking down" tax cuts and economic reforms. One attendee was not happy.

Ms Hamilton-Manns, 33, worked in Qatar, Kuwait, Britain, Italy and South Africa for five years as a teacher and then as an event manager. She came home in 2006 and runs her own business staging events in the finance sector, but told Mr English she was thinking of leaving again.

"I don't see opportunities in New Zealand apart from having babies," she told him.

Well-spotted Ms Hamilton-Manns.

Coincidentally I received information earlier this week that illustrates her observation very well.

Most benefit-dependent single parents who go on welfare as teenagers appear first in the dole queue.

Of those welfare-dependent single parents the Ministry has full benefit history for (aged 29 or younger) 33,730 first claimed welfare as a teenager, but surprisingly, only 17 percent began on the DPB. For 61 percent, the first benefit they relied on was an unemployment benefit.

Rather than getting into work or training many unemployed young people are starting families and moving onto the DPB. Failing to acquire any work experience or further education is virtually a guaranteed pathway to long-term dependency, which is bad for both parents and children.

Over half of these young parents are Maori. Many started on welfare during a period of very low unemployment so it is no good blaming the recession or high Maori unemployment. Pacific people experience equally high unemployment rates but they are not over-represented in this group.

In his opening address to parliament John Key talked about moving people off the DPB. But just as important, if not more, is stopping them from going on it in the first place. Especially as teenagers.

As long as the "opportunity" remains, young people will continue to take it.


Anonymous said...

If only i was a woman. Riches beyond compare would await me as long as i could behave like the proverbial alley cat.


Manolo said...

Good on this woman for being honest and fortright. I have advised my own children to look for opportunities elsewhere, since NZ's future is bleak.

Key's spineless government is just talk without action.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Votes, votes, votes. It's about votes and staying in power. Key can't change it, or National will go.