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Building on the success of Future Focus

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development

Minister of Youth Affairs

27 February 2012 Media Statement
Building on the success of Future Focus

The first stage of welfare reforms announced today build on the success of Future Focus changes says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“Just by requiring people to reapply for the Unemployment Benefit after one year, so far 12,500 have cancelled their benefit, saving $17 million.”

Of that number, more than half didn’t even complete the application and more than 3,300 had already found a job.

“Even the first year of Future Focus alone saw significant gains made by rebalancing obligations and expectations,” says Ms Bennett.

The success of this policy in National’s first term forms the platform for further welfare reforms in this second term of Government.

Year one Future Focus results include:

• 10,400 fewer New Zealanders on welfare
• 2,300 more on the DPB took up part time work
• 13,000 people went off DPB into work (a 16% increase)
• 50% of beneficiaries didn’t require a single hardship grant

“Future Focus has proven that a more active approach to welfare results in greater gains with more people in full and part time work,” says Ms Bennett.

“The old fashioned approach to the welfare system simply doesn’t fit today’s needs and clearer expectations are fair for beneficiaries and taxpayers.”


ENDS

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