Before National came to power, the welfare system simply expanded with no investment in support to get people into work, or action to prevent long-term benefit dependency.
So we’ve reformed our welfare system and focused on providing intensive support for people who need it the most.
The latest benefit figures show our approach is working – the number of people on welfare for the June quarter is the lowest since 2008.
There are over 16,000 fewer people on welfare compared to June 2013, and sole parents are leading the way with a 10.7 per cent drop.
Sole parents, particularly those who go on benefit in their teens, have the highest lifetime costs of any group on welfare, and are likely to stay on benefit the longest.
That’s why our welfare reforms deliberately targeted them, investing millions into intensive support, training, and childcare.
The number of 18 and 19-year-old teen parents on the Young Parent Payment also dropped, falling 11.7 per cent. With teen parents spending an average of 19 years on benefit, and costing around $246,000 over a lifetime, this is good news for future generations.
The intensive wrap-around support through Youth Services and the tailored support Work and Income case managers are providing is paying off – for taxpayers and for people who were at risk of long-term welfare dependency.
National believes getting people off welfare and into work means a better life, better opportunities, and a brighter future for people and their families. We believe anyone who can work should be in employment, in training, or looking for a job.
Numbers on the Jobseeker benefit have fallen by almost 7,500 since last year, and have been consistently declining since 2010, even as the overall working age population has increased over that period.
Our welfare reforms, and strong and growing economy, are giving more Kiwis the opportunity to get into work, earn higher wages, and build careers for themselves and better lives for their families.
National’s priorities to build a more competitive and productive economy and deliver better public services are making a real difference in the lives of New Zealanders.