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Better Public Service target for welfare on track

Hon Paula Bennett

Minister for Social Development

21 July 2014 Media Statement

Better Public Service target for welfare on track

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says welfare reforms are making good inroads into achieving the Better Public Service target of significantly reducing long term benefit dependency by 2017.

The Government has set the public services some very ambitious targets in areas that are critical in improving the education, health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

“I’m very pleased that we are on track to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in the number of people who have been continuously receiving working-age Jobseeker Support benefits, for more than 12 months, from 78,000 in April 2012 to 55,000 by June 2017,” says Mrs Bennett.

Over the year to March 2014, the number of people on Jobseeker Support for more than 12 months dropped by 6,434 to 68,932. That’s an 8.5 per cent decrease, a good improvement from the 3.6 per cent drop over the year to March 2013.

“The impact of the Government’s welfare reforms can be seen in the fact that almost half of the people leaving the welfare system were working with the new Work Focused Case Management service.

“By targeting services to people at risk of long term benefit dependency, the reforms are making real change in their lives.

“It’s also pleasing to see that people leaving a benefit are staying in employment longer and that the unemployment rate is forecast to reduce further. However there’s no room for complacency.

“While we’re making good progress in areas with strong labour markets, including Auckland and Canterbury, we need to ensure unemployed people are getting the support to be ready to capitalise on the jobs that will come on the back of economic growth broadening into other regions.

“Nearly 90 per cent of all people on Job Seeker Support are actively participating in full-time work related interventions designed to prepare them for and help them get jobs.”

The Better Public Service Results July update can be found at: www.ssc.govt.nz/better-public-services

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