Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Parents on benefits continue having babies

Media Release: Parents on benefits continue having babies

March 3, 2020

Lindsay Mitchell, Welfare Commentator and researcher

In 2019 over 6,000 babies were added to an existing benefit.

"Information released to me under the OIA shows that 6,190 caregivers had added one or more 'subsequent children' aged less than 12 months to their benefit during 2019. That represents one in ten of all babies born last year.  For Maori the ratio doubles to one in five."

Having more babies when unable to independently provide for existing children entrenches long-term dependency. Children on a benefit from birth are more likely to experience abuse and neglect, material hardship, poorer health and educational outcomes, and contact with the justice system.

"To disincentivise adding children, in 2012 the National government introduced a policy whereby the requirement to return to part-time work when the youngest child turned five (later reduced to three) could not be delayed by having another baby. "

In the prior years 2006-2010 the annual average number of subsequent children born to parents on benefit was 4,800.* The situation appears to have worsened since.

"From July 2018 parents on benefits were paid an additional $60 weekly for new born children. 'Best Start' payments apply whether or not the baby is a 'subsequent child.' "

National disincentives and Labour incentives present a mixed and ultimately unsuccessful message as New Zealand fails to deal with the root of so many social problems.


Indian migrants appearing in courts more often than Mongrel Mob members?

Shane Jones' adding- insult- to- injury comments are intriguing:

"I challenge anyone in New Zealand to disagree with me in terms of the sad regularity with which we are seeing egregious cases of abuse, in the media, coming from the Indian migrant community upon their own. In fact, they're appearing in courts with more regularity than the Mongrel Mob."
You would assume that "egregious" cases of abuse would earn at least a community sentence if not a term in prison. Yet Asian and other offenders make up just 4-5% of prisoners or offenders with a community sentence.

In 2015  nine percent of the prison population was Mongrel Mob. By 2018 the number had climbed to around 11 percent.

I suppose there could be some quirk such as all convicted Indian offenders are deported?? But even then they would serve their prison sentence first. Any other ideas that might back up Jones' claim?

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Growing failure of biological parents to care for their children

"Unsupported Child’s Benefit is a weekly payment which helps carers supporting a child or young person whose parents can't care for them because of a family breakdown."

"Orphan’s Benefit is a weekly payment which helps carers supporting a child or young person whose parents have died or can't be found, or can’t look after them because they have a long-term health condition or incapacity."

I included these when recently asking MSD how many more children were dependent on benefits.

Children on these benefits have risen by 18 percent from December 2017 to December 2019.

Yet again we see Maori children way over-represented. 

Many of these children will be in whangai, foster or grandparent care. Anecdotally (listening to grandparents raising grandchildren) drugs are a large part of the problem.

Apart from a small number of tragedies (Orphan's benefit only represents 2 percent of the total numbers) the growing columns largely reflect a failure of biological parents to provide care.

(The growth is not the result of the law change to allow dependent children to stay in foster care till an older age. In each and every single year age-band the numbers have increased. Babies under 1 year  increased by 44%)