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Welfare numbers decline – Bennett

Press Release – New Zealand Government

The total number of people on welfare dropped by 2,295 in the last month says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.Welfare numbers decline
The total number of people on welfare dropped by 2,295 in the last month says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

There are currently 328,043 people on benefits in New Zealand, with 57,058 of those on an Unemployment Benefit.

“Future Focus changes and increasing business confidence have made a real difference and more people are finding work, but overall improvements are still in small increments,” says Ms Bennett.

More than 9,000 New Zealanders went off benefits and into work in May.

“More than half of those were jobseekers on the Unemployment Benefit who found work and I congratulate every one of them,” says Ms Bennett.

“Obviously, we’d like to see fewer people reliant on benefits and the focus on preparing people for work remains a priority for this Government.”

“Reforms already implemented by National have seen positive results.”

Future Focus changes that require someone on an Unemployment Benefit to reapply after one year have seen more than 5,000 cancel their benefit.

More than 1,400 of those said they had found work, more than 2,600 didn’t complete a reapplication and more than 1,000 were no longer eligible.

“We’ve also seen more than 1000 people leave the DPB altogether to go into work within a month of getting intensive support from Work and Income.”

Currently about 15,000 people on DPB now earn more than $80 a week.

“Requiring those with children over 6 years to look for 15 hours work a week has seen many take steps to be in paid employment,” says Ms Bennett.

The number of people on Unemployment Benefits fell by 3,000 in the last year and around 3,000 young people went off welfare into work last month.

The total number on benefits has fallen for four consecutive months.

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