INDEPENDENT NEWS

5,000 more people independent of benefits

Published: Thu 21 Jul 2016 10:19 AM
Hon Jo Goodhew
Acting Minister for Social Development
21 July 2016
5,000 more people independent of benefits
Acting Social Development Minister Jo Goodhew says the number of people receiving a main benefit has continued to fall year on year, with the latest figures the lowest for any June quarter since 2008.
“The number of people receiving a main benefit has fallen by 5,172 (or 1.8 per cent) in the last 12 months, with those on Sole Parent Support continuing to drive the strong downward trend,” Mrs Goodhew says.
“This is the first quarter since the $790 million Child Hardship Package came into effect, raising benefit rates by $25 a week after tax for those with dependent children, and increasing obligations for sole parents.
“Sole Parents have shown they are willing and able to move into independence, with a reduction of 965 in the last quarter, or 3,818 in the last year in the numbers receiving Sole Parent Support.
“All regions saw a fall in this benefit type compared to June 2015, with the strongest reductions in Bay of Plenty, down 9.4 per cent, and Auckland, down 7.3 per cent.
“It’s also promising to see a 2.1 per cent reduction in the number of Jobseekers with health conditions and disabilities in the last 12 months, as we find better ways to remove the barriers they face to employment.
“Last week Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner launched EmployAbility, an extension of the pilot Project 300, which saw 584 people with health conditions and disabilities supported into work.
“Funding in Budgets 2015 and 2016 also means that all sole parents and people with medical conditions have access to intensive, work-focused case management.
“Employment is about more than just earning a living and we are determined to support more families into work so they can thrive,” Mrs Goodhew says.
The latest benefit data is available at https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/index.html.
ends

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