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PATHS helps just 0.1% off welfare

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

23 July 2006

PATHS helps just 0.1% off welfare

National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins, is questioning the effectiveness of Labour’s flagship PATHS (Providing Access to Health Solutions) programme after official figures reveal just 0.1% of participants rejoin the workforce.

Answers to written questions from the Minister of Social Development and Employment reveal the programme, which involves recipients of sickness and invalid benefits, has helped just 151 people off welfare at a cost of $2.7 million.

“Numbers of people receiving an incapacity benefit have risen almost 50% under Labour. A programme that assists just 0.1% of those people back to work just doesn’t cut it, especially not at a cost of $18,000 per person,” says Ms Collins.

“Going on a sickness or invalid benefit should not be a life sentence, but under Labour it is rapidly becoming that way.

“With no incentives, assistance or obligations to get off the benefit, thousands are languishing with no prospect of returning to work.

“Programmes like PATHS, which help just a few and cost millions, ignore the thousands on incapacity benefits who are more than capable of contributing to the community.

“National would work with doctors to ensure a consistent approach to the sickness and invalids criteria. We are also examining international welfare initiatives that focus on what people can do, not what they can’t,” says Ms Collins.

*******


Answers to written questions 08550(2006) and 08552(2006) – 3 pages

Question: How many beneficiaries who have participated in a Providing
Access To Health Solutions (PATHS) programme, have moved into paid
employment, to date, broken down by region and office?

Portfolio: Social Development & Employment

Minister: Hon David Benson-Pope

Date Lodged:07/07/2006

Answer Text: The PATHS (Providing Access to Health Solutions) programme,
the first of its kind in the world, is aimed at helping recipients of the
Sickness and Invalid's Benefit into the workforce by removing, reducing or
managing the health problems that are preventing them from working. The
PATHS initiative helps beneficiaries identify the health options available
for their conditions, and provides access to crucial services that will
enable them to get back to work.The Ministry of Social Development can provide the number of PATHS
participants who were off benefit, and the number who had declared income
at some point since entering the programme, by region as at the end of
June 2006.As at the end of June 2006, 31 clients participating in the PATHS South
Auckland initiative had declared income at some point since entering the
programme, while 67 were off benefit.As at the end of June 2006, 16 clients participating in the PATHS
Wellington initiative had declared income at some point since entering the
programme, while 27 were off benefit.

As at the end of June 2006, 29 clients participating in the PATHS Bay of
Plenty initiative had declared income at some point since entering the
programme, while 32 were off benefit.As at the end of June 2006, 8 clients participating in the PATHS
Canterbury initiative had declared income at some point since entering the
programme, while 16 were off benefit.

PATHS Taranaki has only been operating since November 2005 and as at the
end of June 2006, 9 participants from PATHS Taranaki were off benefit.Attachment: None

Date Received:19/07/2006

Question: How much has Providing Access To Health Solutions (PATHS) cost since its inception, broken down by region and year?

Portfolio: Social Development & Employment

Minister: Hon David Benson-Pope

Date Lodged:07/07/2006

Answer Text: Ministry officials have provided the attached table which
shows the expenditure on PATHS since its inception in each of the
identified District Health Board regions for the 2003/2004, 2004/2005 and
2005/2006 financial years.

The cost to operate PATHS reflects the contracted cost and health
intervention expenditure. It does not include any additional costs not
contracted for but incurred by PATHS partners; nor does it include the
overhead cost incurred by the Ministry of Social Development.PATHS was implemented in the Capital and Coast District Health Board
region from October 2004 and in the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and Canterbury
District Health Board regions progressively during 2005.


Attachment:

http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/0607/Collins0855220068552_v3.xls.pdf

Date Received: 19/07/2006

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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