The number of people on a main benefit in New Zealand is the lowest it’s been in a March quarter for the past 20 years. The number of sole parents on a benefit is now the lowest it’s been since 1988.
But the biggest reduction we’re seeing is the cost to taxpayers for the overall welfare bill. The National-led Government's management and welfare policy settings is expected to save taxpayers nearly $14 billion.
The cost of welfare is now lower because we’ve ensured Work and Income provides extra support to around 50,0000 sole parents to find a job, and not come back on to welfare. We’ve put in place new requirements like ensuring sole parents on a benefit look for part-time work as soon as their child turns three; have their child enrolled at school and make sure they are up-to-date with their Well Child checks.
Nine years ago, beneficiaries had limited opportunities with a stagnant economy and few choices, and benefits were still being paid to those on the run from the cops. And when the Labour Government was caught red-handed with record numbers on the unemployment benefit, they just shifted them on the sickness benefit.
Thanks to National, there are now greater obligations for those on welfare to find work, and more support for them to do so – and it’s saving billions in taxpayer dollars each year.
Latest benefit data is available at https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/index.html