Saturday, October 26, 2013

DPB longevity - a typical case

After the sob stories here's a refreshing change. A Fairfax news story about a woman on the DPB for twenty years who decided to get a job when she heard her daughter saying how she intended to follow in her mother's footsteps. Good for her. Mum that is.

But there's some misinformation reported:

Until six months ago, Judy Wilson was one of about 80,000 sole parents in New Zealand receiving a benefit.
This is incorrect. 80,000 is the number on Sole Parent Support at September 2013. There are many more who have been shifted to the Jobseeker Support, Young Parent Payment, or Supported Living Payment. The data here would indicate around another 17-18,000. And there's maybe 2-3,000 on emergency benefits. A more accurate number might be close to 100,000

... In July, New Zealand's welfare system had a major shakeup and the Government introduced new expectations and obligations for beneficiaries. The changes were slated by advocacy groups as punitive, but they seem to have had the Government's desired effect - for better or worse - in reducing the number of people receiving assistance.
The numbers are coming down. But I think the reporter might be under the impression they are falling more rapidly than is the case. Nevertheless he's done a good job of putting a human face to the new data showing how long sole parents stay on welfare.

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