Thursday, April 21, 2016

Latest total benefit numbers - back where we started from

Well, not quite where we started from. That'd be zero. But back where we started from when National took govt.

The slow total decline continues. Down to 9.9% of the working age population.

There's a blip with JobSeeker support but nothing dramatic or necessarily trendsetting. It may be saying something about the employment situation. It might just be ageing single parents being moved onto Jobseeker support. Little to be inferred by the reduction in YP/YPP for 18+. The teenage birth rate is dropping so perhaps unsurprising. The old invalid benefit - Supported Living Payment - remains stubbornly high though any reduction is unusual compared to the past few years. Reliance on welfare due to psychological conditions continues to grow. The Sole Parent Support reduction is the biggest and best news leading to fewer children on benefits.

I don't see any smoking gun in the data tables.

Total numbers are dropping. Just not fast enough for some readers. Or me.

As the drop is post GFC  it's worth looking where we were pre GFC.

At 9.9% of the working age population.

(The Super numbers are the big growth area and while most people don't think of it as a benefit, it's included in the tables.

Almost 700,000.

Up 23% since March 2011.)


Unknown said...

The SPS drop is very good news. So is the drop in the teenage birth rate - that will mean fewer "welfare children" growing up to go on welfare themselves. This is "breaking the cycle" in action (but I agree with Lindsay that the trend is nowhere near fast enough). Strong disincentives for "welfare couples" to have children would be good to see.

The old DPB stubbornly stayed above 90,000 for forever (so it seemed). Getting it heading down towards 60,000 is great to see - long may the decline continue!

Anonymous said...

The Super numbers are the big growth area and while most people don't think of it as a benefit, it's included in the tables.

Super is just a dole for codger-bludgers. Nothing more nothing less. It should be abollshed overnight.

S. Beast said...

Surely most of the improvement is wiped out by increases in accommodation costs.

Lindsay Mitchell said...


"Accommodation Supplement is the largest component of the liability after main benefits (12%). By region, AS payment levels have only increased in Nelson (by 0.3% per year on average for SPS clients), and have fallen the most in Auckland and Canterbury (by 1.9% and 3.3% per year on average respectively)."

S.Beast said...

Thanks for that. As Auckland and Christchurch are in a housing super crisis I will be digging into that report later as decreases seem implausible.

I did a quick search for TAS (which only found references to daTASet) and Temporary Additional Support and found nothing.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

"MARCH 2016
Gap widens between national for sale and rental markets
As the ‘for sale’ market continues to charge ahead, there is some good news for tenants as rents stagnate in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, according to the latest Trade Me Property Rental Index.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said the national median weekly rent across the country in March was $430, unchanged from February and up just $10 a week compared to a year ago.

“It’s not an easy time to be a landlord, particularly one who has bought a rental property recently as they won’t be getting the assistance they want with their mortgage. Of course, tenants will be happy because they’re seeing very stable rents in most parts of the country.”

Mr Jeffries said rents and prices had “drifted apart” significantly. “We’ve crunched the numbers and a tenant in Auckland would need to pay rent of $500 per week for 32 years before spending as much as someone buying a typical property at the city’s average asking price of $834,500.”

S. Beast said...

When you calculate AS you can see that it stops being accommodating at a level well below the rent being paid.

This effectively means that more often than not you can have a reduction in rent of say $20/week (or more) and there would be no change at all to the amount of AS paid.

And landlords are a mercenary bunch. You can bet they know who their market is and what they can get away with charging. There is no way that I see them charging less than what they can get subsidised.