A promising start

January 18th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

The number of sole parents on the domestic purposes benefit dropped by 5000 last year – a drop Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is attributing partly to her new policy requiring sole parents to get jobs when their youngest child turns five.

Figures released yesterday showed there were 95,138 sole parents on the DPB at the end of 2012 – down from 100,266 the year before.

More than half of that drop happened in the last three months of the year, after the introduction of Ms Bennett’s policy required sole parents to get part-time work when their youngest child turned five and fulltime work for those whose children were older than 14.

Ms Bennett said 3221 sole parents had returned to work since that came into force in October.

It’s early days, but that looks to be a promising start. The real beneficiaries of the policy are the kids, as growing up in a household with no adult in employment has strong correlations with negative outcomes in multiple areas.

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11 Responses to “A promising start”

  1. Andrew M (44 comments) says:

    As always, to get critical analysis of a story that seems to support the National Party we look away from KB.

    Lindsay Mitchell has raised a good point in that they don’t seem to ask what the subsequent increase of people on the Young Parent Payment is.

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  2. dime (9,658 comments) says:

    Werent we at 113,000 a couple of years ago.

    Its still about 80,000 too many but its a start.

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  3. tvb (4,242 comments) says:

    I think it is far too premature to say this fro is because of new policy changes. This is against a background of rising unemployment. I am in favour of cancelling the dpb altogether. It is a failed social experiment.

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  4. Pete George (23,297 comments) says:

    ‘Karol’ covers this – Doing the numbers: benefits & (un)employment – including quoting Metiria Turei.

    And there’s some predictable comments:

    Opposition parties say the latest welfare figures issued by the Government prove people are being forced into poverty…

    There’s an interesting comment and response.

    mickysavage:

    I agree Karol this is not something to celebrate.

    Somewhere there is a Kiwi family whose parents have had to resort to crime or prostitution to get by.

    There has to be a better way

    Tom Gould:

    And what might that ‘better way’ be, Micky?

    Savagemicky is yet to respond.

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  5. graham (2,284 comments) says:

    I find the concept of the “root cause” interesting. All too often we look at issues and problems and address the issues that are in front of our eyes, without acknowledging the “root cause” – another way of describing this is “the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”.

    In this case, nobody ever seems to want to address the true root cause – why do we have so many solo parents?

    Marriage/relationship breakups are complex and difficult, and I understand there are some situations where it’s broken too badly to fix. But maybe if we, as a society, started placing more emphasis on the concept of commitment to a relationship – especially where children are involved – then some of the other issues would be a little bit easier to deal with.

    I feel strongly that if a couple intend to have children, then they should take a long hard look at their relationship and ask if it can survive for the next 15 to 20 years while they bring up those children. If not, are they prepared to cope with the consequences?

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  6. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    There is no evidence of an increased number of people in employment as a result of this change. Just assertion and inference. Which is dishonest.

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  7. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Dept of statistics has confirmed Paula Bennett’s numbers of dropping unemployed is really beneficiaries being taken off assistance and jobs are not really being filled by the unemployed.

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  8. scrubone (3,081 comments) says:

    Maybe they finally started kicking people off the dole who were able to work, but refused it.

    I’m open to suggestions as to what should be done to help such people, but giving them the same thing as people who are in fact willing to work is not something I will ever support.

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  9. Rex Widerstrom (5,327 comments) says:

    krazykiwi says:

    There is no evidence of an increased number of people in employment as a result of this change. Just assertion and inference. Which is dishonest.

    Well spotted kk, despite DPF’s uncritical analysis.

    Plus, if we take this at face value, in a time of less-than-full employment, the opportunity cost of 5,000 solo parents in work is 5,000 single and married / partnered people still without a job. It’s a zero-sum game until something is done to increase the pool of available jobs.

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  10. Left Right and Centre (2,876 comments) says:

    graham….

    This is the feral lowlife moron underclass you’re talking about man. They’re fuckin braindead motherfuckers. They’re like the lower animals mate. Lower animals breed. That’s what they do. They don’t stop to think about it. They just do it. They just fuckin do it.

    What do you want them to do? They’re braindead. They’re blank. They don’t know any better… they don’t have the mental capacity to think like you do. They’re like children. The mentality of a child with working genitals.

    How are you ever going to change them? Would you try to turn a lion into a vegan? I don’t fucking think so eh?

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  11. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    What would you do to change them?

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