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More money spent on invalid and sickness benefits

More money spent on invalid and sickness beneficiaries

Steve Maharey's announcement that he is commissioning a $400,000 research project on the increase in the number of people receiving sickness and invalids benefit is a waste of money, says to National Party Welfare Spokesperson Katherine Rich. "In answers to parliamentary questions today he has admitted that he receives regular reports on the current status and trends of benefits, including the number of individuals in receipt of Sickness and Invalids Benefits.

"Additionally, in answers to questions he goes further and says "significant factors associated with the increase include an ageing workforce (with increased prevalence of age-related conditions), the raising of the age of eligibility to New Zealand Superannuation to 65, and the increasing number of people in the community with diagnosed psychological or psychiatric conditions."

"The Minister also says trends in other countries "shows that similar pressures on sickness or disability related benefits are occurring elsewhere in the world."

"This is not the case in the United Kingdom where the number of people receiving sickness and invalid benefits has actually decreased," Mrs Rich said.

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