Unemployment Benefit – Numbers Almost Double

Press Release – Lindsay Mitchell

Data just released by the Ministry of Social Development show that numbers on the unemployment benefit have nearly doubled over the last year to 37,000. “While this was largely expected the equally bad news is that every main benefit has seen an …

Media Release

Unemployment Benefit – Numbers Almost Double

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Data just released by the Ministry of Social Development show that numbers on the unemployment benefit have nearly doubled over the last year to 37,000.

“While this was largely expected the equally bad news is that every main benefit has seen an increase in numbers since the end of March 2008. Of particular concern is a 12 percent increase in the sickness benefit when earlier indications and assurances were the growth was easing off. There are now 135,000 working-age New Zealanders receiving either a sickness or invalid’s benefit – around one in twenty people aged 18 – 64.”

“As well, the numbers receiving the domestic purpose’s benefit have increased by 6,000 or six percent with much of the growth in the 18-24 age group.”

“Being in a recession is no reason to accept that all benefits will take on numbers. The government needs to be toughening and tightening up. If it fails to keep a lid on growth in the DPB, sickness and invalid benefits, we will see exaggerated numbers for years to come, similar to the legacy of the last severe employment slump of the early nineties.”

Lindsay Mitchell, Welfare Commentator

ENDS

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