Wednesday, October 23, 2019

RNZ badly skews benefit numbers

According to Radio NZ:
There are still 109,000 people in New Zealand on a benefit, out of work. Fifty-two percent of those people have either a disability, health or mental health issue; or are caring for someone who does.
Here is the current situation:

I have tried to understand how the RNZ reporter came up with the 109,000 statistic. One possibility is the reporter referred only to Jobseeker beneficiaries and excluded those working part-time; that someone gave her unpublished data.

However she includes in her definition those 'caring for someone' with a disability. They receive the Supported Living Payment (SLP) which appears  missing from her statistic.

It is true that 44% of people receiving the Jobseeker benefit have an injury or health or disability condition but it is expected they will return to work. Those on SLP are not expected to work though some do want to, to the extent that they are able.

Those relying on the Sole Parent Support (SPS) have also been totally ignored in her statistic. Today it is the norm for mothers with children to work. When their youngest is three SPS beneficiaries have part-time work obligation which many do not meet. So surely many in this group are also "on a benefit, out of work".

RNZ is a strange outfit. Note they include in the broadcast soundbites of Mike Hosking railing against growing jobseeker numbers then run a piece dominated by Carmel Sepuloni. It's like pro-government propaganda.

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