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Investing more in reducing welfare dependency

Investing more in reducing welfare dependency

The Government’s commitment to supporting people to get off welfare and into work is continuing, with new operating funding of $100 million over the next four years.

“Welfare reforms have already made a huge difference for tens of thousands of New Zealanders and their families,” Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says.

“Nearly 15,000 fewer people are on benefits now than at the same time last year. Thousands of children are now growing up in financially independent homes, with 29,500 fewer children living in benefit-dependent homes compared to two years ago.

“New investment announced in Budget 2014 will allow around 8,000 places in employment and work-readiness services to be targeted at beneficiaries who risk staying on benefits over the long term.

“We’ll also be working more intensively, and trialling new approaches to support beneficiaries with complex needs. This will include testing different ways of working with people as well as introducing new services and support.”

Since the first valuation of the welfare system in 2011, the long-term liability to meet the total future cost of people currently on welfare has reduced by $7.4 billion and benefit payments are currently $320 million less than forecast in 2011.

The $100 million in new funding follows the $188.6 million invested in Budget 2013, which is helping more than 1,500 people move off welfare and into work each week.

“I’m extremely proud of what our welfare reforms have achieved so far, and we’re building on that momentum with more intensive and better targeted support to help vulnerable families get ahead,” Mrs Bennett says.

ends

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