Friday, July 16, 2010

Working For Families evaluation

A Working For Families evaluation was published at the MSD website 2 days ago.

What does it cost?

The WFF changes affected 382,500 families with dependent children and cost an additional $1.5 billion in the year to March 2008 compared with the year to March 2004

What effect did it have on sole parent employment?

In the quarter ended June 2007, there were an estimated additional 8,100 sole parents engaged in some paid work as a result of the WFF changes, and increased numbers of sole parents were working 20 hours a week or more. Sole parents’ periods of benefit receipt were shorter and sole parents previously on benefit were staying off benefit longer. In 2007, two out of five sole parents who were not employed considered themselves available to work.

A more recent analysis suggests the economic downturn in 2009 has eroded most of this impact. The growth in Domestic Purposes Benefit numbers during the economic downturn was due both to an increase in grants and to a decrease in cancellations.
The growth in the number of grants is equally distributed between those who have not received a benefit in the previous four years and those who have.

What effect did it have on mothers (usually the 'second earner') in couple families?

Although not an objective of the reforms, the WFF changes gave couple parents greater choice about working and caring for their children by making it easier to manage on less income from the labour market. Families could reduce their hours of work or take lower paying jobs and have their income topped up by WFF Tax Credits payments. The WFF changes also reduced the net return from additional hours worked for those families whose payments were abating. Although there was no impact on the total hours second earners in couple families were in paid work, 9,300 fewer second earners in couple parent families were in paid employment in the quarter ended June 2007 due to the WFF changes.

What effect did it have on child poverty?

The percentage of children living in poverty, using a 60% measure relative to 2004, dropped by 8 percentage points due to WFF. Without the WFF package, New Zealand’s child poverty rate would have continued to climb from 2004, most likely reaching around 30% in 2008.

In the scheme of things it's a lot of money for arguable gain.


Anonymous said...

It's a huge amount of money for ZERO FUCKING GAIN

WFF was nothing but a labour bribe and so it remains.

It should have been terminated within 24 hours of the change of government, and WFFers along with bludgers, codgers, sickos, and all the rests summarily and permanently removed from the electoral rolls

The only way to end welfare dependency is to end welfare.

The only useful welfare reform is to end it and to remove all bludgers from the electoral rolls.

Anonymous said...

Cameron is cutting 40% of all department budgets.

Can anyone argue that Key shouldn't be doing at least as much here, just as a start?