Large welfare families

The HoS reports:

Taxpayers are forking out $2000-plus a week to a select group of benefit-dependent parents with more than 10 children.

Official figures show that twelve families on have 10 or more kids, receiving a range of top-up payments on top of their average of nearly $1000 a week.

It would be interesting to see how many families there are with more than 10 children who are not on welfare. A generation ago there would have been quite a few. Jim Bolger had nine kids for example. I suspect far fewer today. Even the Catholics seem to manage to restrict themselves to four or five kids – Vatican roulette must have got better over the years 🙂

As for the 12 families on welfare with over 10 kids, what I’d be interested in is whether the kids came before or after they were on welfare. If one parent died, then their surviving partner would go onto welfare with the kids. That is how it should be (although I would recommend life insurance for parents with large families). But if a family has had 11 or more kids, and the parents have never been in the workforce – that is not a good thing.

“There’s two words we don’t use often enough in this country and that’s self-responsibility,” Bennett told the Herald on Sunday. “The size of someone’s family is their business, so long as they don’t expect someone else to pay for it.”

Absolutely. So long as the parents are capable of providing for their family, it is no one’s business how many kids they have. However if you are already unable to provide for your existing kids, and you choose to have more – then the taxpayer does take an interest.

The data, released by the Ministry of Social Development under the Official Information Act, shows there are 143 parents on Work and Income’s payroll who have eight or more children and receive basic payments of $7 million a year, plus supplements.

There are more than 3000 large families with five children or more on the benefit. One-third have been on the benefit for more than five years and 430 for more than 10 years.

This is what the recent welfare reforms are designed to reduce – long-term welfare dependency.

Bennett said there were some people, such as grandparents and foster carers, who had taken children into their care who were doing a valuable duty for the community – but others who were taking advantage of the system.

Yep, need to differentiate.

But beneficiary advocate and former Green MP Sue Bradford said everyone would be better off if beneficiaries received more money.

Umm, except taxpayers I presume. I would also dispute that keeping people on welfare is good for those families long-term.

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