Saturday, March 27, 2010

The truth will out - eventually

It has been an ongoing bone of contention between myself and the Ministry of Social Development that they are unable to accurately describe how long people stay on the DPB for cumulatively. This dates back 8 years.

For two reasons yesterday the issue arose again. Firstly because a commentor at The Standard was quoting statistics relating to each continuous spell and I pointed out the these couldn't tell us anything about total dependence (to which I got the usual name calling response from the usual sources).

But more importantly I see that the economics lecturer, Susan St John, did some calculations about National's proposed savings if they could cut the number of people on the DPB.

Sole parents come off the benefit either because they go back to paid work, or they re-partner. It appears that Key is assuming, heroically, the new policy will save an average of 6.5 extra years of DPB for each of the 2150 sole parents it moves into work. This would produce a net saving of around $200 million.

The only time I have ever seen that number before was when I produced it way back in 2002.

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