Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Youth Payments increase by 88.9%

That was sneaky. The March benefit statistics were due out last week. But they were never posted on the front page of the website. If you didn't know where to look, you would never find them.

I do and there they are.

All bad news.

Because the quarters fluctuate it is vitally important to compare year on year to get an accurate picture.

So amidst the glaring shortages of workers eg bus drivers, that are crippling services there has been an almost 11 percent increase in numbers of unemployed. Worse, those jobseekers classified as 'work ready' have risen by 14.5 percent.

While the base number is low Youth Payment has risen a staggering 88.9% from 126 to 238.

There are just 6 fewer sole parent beneficiaries putting the brakes on that downward trend. The same can be said for the ex invalid benefit, now SLP, where there has been a very small increase.

What this illustrates is how the benefit system had now evolved into a bona fide, state-sanctioned alternative to employment for too many. (Recall my earlier post that showed 75% of those in the Growing Up in New Zealand study receiving a sole parent benefit said they had partners.)

It isn't kind or compassionate to admit more young people into a system that traps them and saps any ambition they may otherwise have held. It's just a waste.