A promising start

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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