17,000 fewer on benefits

January 18th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Paula Bennett announced:

Figures for the December 2013 quarter released today show over 17,000 fewer people are on benefit compared to December 2012. …

“The decrease includes over 8,000 sole parents who have gone off the benefit, a 9.4 per cent drop compared to the same time last year,” Mrs Bennett says. …

Over 19,800 people cancelled their benefit to go into work in the last quarter.

Here’s the benefit levels compared to three years ago.

  • Jobseeker – Work Ready – 20.3% lower
  • Sole Parent Support (SPS) – 13.0% lower
  • Supported Living Payment (SLP) – 0.7% higher
  • Emergency Benefit (EB) – 14.6% lower
  • Emergency Maintenance Allowance (EMA) – 13.2% lower
  • Youth Payment/Young Parent Payment (YP/YPP) – 15.4% lower
  • All Working Age Benefits – 8.7% lower

Good to see most heading in the right direction.

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29 Responses to “17,000 fewer on benefits”

  1. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Now if only they could do something about the, Working for Families, benefit. Though it would be political suicide to touch Labours unaffordable election bribe.

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  2. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    It’s a worthy achievement in a country where so many people do not see why they should, or even realise they need to, make any contribution. There’s still a mass delusion out there that you don’t really need to work, Government will provide, although the realisation the ride is getting a bit tougher is starting to permeate (according to someone I know in MSD).

    National ought to have done to the bludgers (especially the DPB breeders) what Labour did to the rural sector in the 1980s. At least the farmers actually got up in the morning and produced something :)

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  3. radvad (765 comments) says:

    This avalanche of good news stories must be tightening the bowels of the Ship of Fools (The Cunliffe, Norman/Turei, Peters, Harawira, Dotcom gaggle).

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  4. itstricky (1,832 comments) says:

    Wasn’t the deal last year that she just rearranged the categories so that it -looked- like there were fewer in particular categories?

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  5. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Fairfax/APN don’t seem to give this news much exposure. Are they being muffled via the loser that has headlines he wants another go at taking New Plymouth. He would have as much a chance as Pagani had in Rangitikei, these electorates have little time for left-wing leeching losers, being mainly domains of hard workers and successful types.

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  6. hane (69 comments) says:

    At least the farmers actually got up in the morning and produced something

    NZ farmers in the 1980s were the biggest bludgers of them all.

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  7. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    igm –

    Check this New Plymouth leech out –

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9623629/Tide-turns-against-windscreen-washers

    New Plymouth folk are sick of window washers like the guy in the article who was recently charged with assault & assaulting a Police officer. Admits he has got ‘a bit of a short fuse’, but can make $260 in four hours.

    This one bludger has possibly come off Paula’s List, but continues to cost NZ dearly

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  8. hane (69 comments) says:

    These electorates have little time for left-wing leeching losers, being mainly domains of hard workers and successful types.

    The only thing the super-bogans of Taranaki work very hard at is inbreeding. Scary fucking bastards.

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  9. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    Older people always offer to do the dishes after having eaten a ‘free lunch’.

    Some people today however believe that they are entitled to an entire life for free, and in return all they need do is vote for Labour.

    Well, having the government subsidise your family committments while you are working is the carrott & stick diet that Labour put you all on.

    That however is not a free lunch, as now that your’re working Labour wants you to vote for the likes of a minimum wage & quotas – a women’s one for starters- and to join it’s unions – to eventually lose yor job. If you don’t, you don’t then get anything more – unless you work better!

    You are not the Pigs in Animal Farm.

    How’s Labour’s Hamster Pellet Diet ? :cool:

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  10. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Hane, my point was not to defend the farmers as such, I think everyone’s pretty familiar with SMPs and how it all went down.

    Something had to be done about it, and Douglas decided ‘better to be done quickly if done at all’. And many farmers up and down the country were ruined, many went down the shed with the shotgun.

    I believe something also had to be done about the extent of welfare dependency and abuse in this country years and years ago, yet we still tiptoe about the place and are joyous when we see a modest drop in the numbers. Why is a beneficiary’s lifestyle and income more valuable than a farmer’s? Surely it’s got to end at some juncture.

    Like I say, at least farmers generally got up and did a day’s work. They’re subject to quite a bit more pressure that your average welfare recipient

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  11. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    Itstricky – if the changes didn’t make any difference why was the left schreeching at the time and why are the results better now?

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  12. Lindsay (148 comments) says:

    Over the period you have chosen to analyse there were 31,000 fewer working age beneficiaries and I agree. that can only be good news (albeit the decrease may mainly involve short-term dependants and reflect economic conditions rather than welfare reforms. Hard to know now the longevity reporting has changed.) But there were 79,000 more superannuitants. When is National going to address this problem?

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  13. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    @ duggledog – but I bet he pays tax on his secondary income. Yeah right

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  14. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    The DPB is the biggest con job every pulled on us by feminists.

    It is the single most destructive thing inflicted on our society. The cost of the benefit payments is only the tip of the iceberg. The destruction of the family and the breeding of a welfare dependent underclass is where the real damage is done.

    None of us want to see kids going hungry and paying for the sins of the parent. So the DPB has been sold to us on the Think Of The Children !!! basis. But the real intention was never about the kids. It was about paying women so they did not need a man around. The feminists wanted to destroy the traditional family and social norms, which they see as fundamental in establishing male hegemony. It is purely about destroying the family and nothing more. It is little wonder that those countries that pay women to fuck have the most lazy fat promiscuous women on earth.

    The evidence is right before our eyes. The DPB is clearly not benefiting children no matter how many billions are poured into hand outs. Outcomes for kids are getting worse. This is about paying women to be lazy immoral bludgers, not helping kids.

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  15. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Lindsay – which problem? Superannuitants or welfare recipients?

    I’m not trying to pick a fight but I don’t see supers as a problem, more of an obligation. The burgeoning OAP bill would be entirely affordable if we could only stop tossing money down the toilet with such gay abandon.

    If only one’s retirement allowance and age of entitlement was reflective of what one put into society during one’s life

    Kea – +1

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  16. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    duggledog, I agree that the elderly should not be targeted. They built the society we enjoy. They paid their taxes with the expectation of getting a pension. It is too late to change the rules on them now at their stage in life.

    Trouble is that we now have generations of welfare bludgers, who never contributed anything to society, retiring. It is a recipe for disaster. Socialism requires capitalism to pay for it. The most successful socialist countries, with generous welfare, are able to afford it due to the income earned by the capitalists. This is why things work in Northern European countries.

    I wish we were rich enough to increase benefits and be even more generous to people. But the fact is we simply do not generate enough income to afford it.

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  17. Lindsay (148 comments) says:

    Eligibility for the very first old age pension was set at 65. Work conditions were harsh, life expectancy was shorter. Today’s 65 year-olds are a different kettle of fish. Many countries including the US and the UK have made moves to raise the age.

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  18. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    itstricky

    Wasn’t the deal last year that she just rearranged the categories so that it -looked- like there were fewer in particular categories?

    I think you are confused with the Labour Party practice of hiring thousands into the public service to hide unemployment. Or perhaps you have fond memories of Labour slashing hospital waiting list by dropping people off the list and sending them back to their GP for reassessment.

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  19. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Lindsay, I think we need to raise the age. We are an aging society with less young people to support it than in the past. It is a demographic problem. I think working is good for us anyway. Many people promptly keel over and die when they retire. Some feel lonely and useless. It should not be seen as a negative thing to keep on keeping on.

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  20. hane (69 comments) says:

    Of course baby boomers want to increase the retirement age. They’ve pulled up every drawbridge they’ve crossed since they were teenagers, why stop now. On their way out they’ll faze out council burials for those without family.

    Don’t expect a visit at Summerset in the next few years, you selfish bastards.

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  21. MH (757 comments) says:

    there’s always blogging…

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  22. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Nonetheless Lindsay, that’s changing the goal posts. All their lives, today’s retirees were working towards and planning for 65. If future governments are going to fuck around with my pension retirement age willy nilly, I’d like the option to have any contribution removed from my tax burden so I can use that money to make my own plans (I already have but you know).

    We all know the age has to go up but it will have to be small incremental steps starting now.

    You can guarantee Labour will be brutal, whacking it up to 67 instantly without any hesitation. Aside from introducing death duties, means testing, capital gains whatever, so long as their beloved underclass get more ‘wealth redistribution’

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  23. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    hane does have a point.

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  24. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    I’m getting behind big Kim ditcoms party. Scoff all you like but you guys don’t have clue that it’s type is going to herald a change.

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  25. lolitasbrother (698 comments) says:

    Where are the benefit figures for superannuation

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  26. Lindsay (148 comments) says:

    lolitasbrother

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/index.html#Datatables6

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  27. HC (154 comments) says:

    From the press release by Bennett:

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/end-year-figures-show-17000-fewer-benefit

    “There were 321,869 people on benefit in the December 2013 quarter. While this is up from the September figure of 304,394, this is largely due to the increase in people receiving Student Hardship – as is typical at this time of year.”

    And this too:
    “Over 19,800 people cancelled their benefit to go into work in the last quarter.”

    “Around 1,500 benefits are cancelled each week as people go off benefit and into work, and thousands of New Zealand families are receiving a level of support and encouragement they never have before, and getting ahead as a result.”

    From the benefit factsheet for Dec. 2012 I got this:
    https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/2012-national-benefit-factsheets.html

    “Headline Benefit Numbers at the end of December 2012″

    “At the end of December 2012, 339,000 working age people were receiving main benefits . This compares with 270,000 in December 2007 and 351,000 in December 2011. The number of working age people receiving main benefits increased by 83,000 (31 percent)3 in the three years ended December 2010, then decreased by 14,000 (4 percent) between 2010 and 2012. ”

    So what does it tell us? Since National took office with their first term in late 2008 unemployment and total benefit numbers went up, reaching a high point in Dec. 2011. Much had to do with the consequences of the GFC and those affecting the NZ economy. Also was the government struggling to get the economy here into action again. It took years for the now active Christchurch rebuild to get into gear, so naturally, especially in Canterbury unemployment went down. There have been increased exports of primary products to Mainland China and some other destinations. Apart from that little much has improved or changed. Well, there is the house price growth in Auckland and Christchurch and surroundings, which has meant that home owners suddenly have additional “equity”, which they can use to get more credit with.

    Consequently there have been increases in wholesale and retail spending, which naturally results in more employment, even if a fair bit of it may be marginal (part time, casual).

    On the other hand the draconian, actually harsh welfare reforms that kicked in especially since July have made it extremely hard to apply for a social security benefit, even when unemployed. I have heard stories where some even get wrong advice by front desk staff and case managers at WINZ, saying they first have to use up holiday pay and savings, before they would accept an application for the dole. Jobseekers have to make at least 20 to 25 efforts or applications a week to fulfill very stringent work test requirements. There has been a large increase in sanctions and benefit cuts and cancellations, where people failed to meet work test or other requirements.

    And it was some time last year, where Paula Bennett repeated it in Parliament during Question Time, that about 3,000 go off a benefit every month, and that is “normal”, while also about the same come and go onto benefits (this of course fluctuates, depending on job availability and so forth).

    Sole parents on benefits now have to look for part time once their youngest child is 5 and full time once it is 14. If a mother receiving a benefit has a second child, she will be expected to look for work once the additional child is one year old.

    Sick and disabled are now even in increasing numbers urged or pressured to look for work, as Paula Bennett and her top MSD staffers have fallen hook, line and sinker for the bizarre “medical expert” advice of a Professor Mansel Aylward and some of his colleagues, who bizarrely claim that most mental health sufferers and those with musculo skeletal conditions merely suffer from “illness belief”. Aylward did “research” while SPONSORED by Unum Provident, one of the world’s and UK’s leading disability and health insurers. UNUM was sued and found guilty of corrupt practices in the US, for using medical assessments and practices to unreasonably deny claimants insurance payouts. So the advisor of Bennett, of the present government and MSD was paid to deliver selective “research” that serves the interests of insurers and certain governments, intent on cost saving. Aylward’s interpretation of the “bio psycho social model” is highly controversial, and he faces harsh criticism in the UK.

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/09/09/professor-mansel-aylward-my-what-a-very-tangled/

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15188-medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-bps-model-aimed-at-disentiteling-affected-from-welfare-benefits-and-acc-compo/

    With all that coming into play here too, it is not surprising that benefit numbers go down.

    As welfare reforms are only just kicking in, figures for the future will be interesting. What is of concern is, that many sick and disabled may increasingly be considered “fit” for work, while they should not be. In February WINZ will start using outsourced, contracted, private assessors to assess sick and disabled on benefits, which seems to be following the way it has been done in very controversial ways in the UK for years – by the DWP using ATOS. Some doctors and the NZMA are very concerned that some of the assessors will likely have NO medical qualifications:

    http://www.nzma.org.nz/sites/all/files/sub-WorkAbilityAssessments-Providers.pdf

    Dr Bratt is known for his likening of benefit dependence to “drug dependence” (see “Ready, Steady, Crook” pages 13, 20, 21 and 35):
    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf

    Now telling GPs and other health professionals this, does that mean they are still “independent” when working with WINZ? I would be worried about how fair, reasonable, independent and actually scientifically based all that is what sick and disabled will face in future. Personally I am concerned about these developments.

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  28. HC (154 comments) says:

    Correction of my comment above:

    “And it was some time last year, where Paula Bennett repeated it in Parliament during Question Time, that about 3,000 go off a benefit every month, and that is “normal”, while also about the same come and go onto benefits (this of course fluctuates, depending on job availability and so forth).”

    It should of course read that about 3,000 go off a benefit every WEEK. And a similar number usually goes onto a benefit each week. That is because of fluctuations in employment and persons naturally moving in and out of jobs, some of course because they have to, and then temporarily need to rely on ‘Jobseeker’ (formerly unemployment and sickness benefits) benefits.

    So with only 1,500 of those moving off benefits each week moving into jobs, the question must be asked, and deserves to be answered, where are the rest moving to? They cannot all die, go into retirement, start studying or whatever else. Some may change benefits, but that still leaves some questions open, I would say.

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  29. HC (154 comments) says:

    I finally found what I was looking for! It was apparently confirmed in the House, that about 2,000 benefits are “cancelled” every week, that was the figure according to Paula Bennett answering to supplementary questions by Sue Moroney on 17 Oct. 2013 – during Question Time. The figure seems to be changing depending on labour market and other movements. See the Hansard record on this:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/50HansQ_20131017_00000005/5-welfare-reforms%E2%80%94impact

    At some other time I heard the figure 3,000 being mentioned, hence my earlier comment including that figure. I wish they would disclose more statistical data on where persons move to, when leaving a particular benefit. OIA responses by MSD tend to disclose only limited information, and I am sure, that some of that practice is intentional. The data is “not centrally collected and instead kept in thousands of individual client files”, is a usual explanation, which under the OIA law gives MSD the right to refuse collating the info sought, as it would be too time consuming.

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