Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

More Sole Parents - More Dead-End Dependency


More Sole Parents - More Dead-End Dependency

According to latest statistics released from the March 2001 Census, 29 percent of families with dependent children (140,175) have only one parent. This is up from 24 percent in 1991.

In March 2001, according to WINZ, a total of 102,634 sole parents were receiving Domestic Purposes Benefit. There were also 5,457 Sole Parents receiving an Unemployment Benefit, 940 receiving a Sickness Benefit, 3,457 receiving an Invalids Benefit, 1,802 receiving Widows Benefit and 1,693 receiving Emergency Benefit.

This gives a total of 115,983 making eighty three percent of sole parents reliant on a benefit. The financial cost to the country in benefits alone is around 2 billion dollars. This is about a quarter of what the government spends on either health or education or double what it spends on defence.

The obvious conclusion is that we need to get existing sole parents into work and discourage further people from becoming dependent sole parents. With this in mind what did Labour do straight after the election with the support of United Future and the Greens? They passed legislation to make it easier to get on the DPB (a person can now move straight from work onto the DPB instead of having to wait for 13 weeks) and easier to stay on the DPB (nobody has to work until their youngest child is 18).

Does anybody believe that this government is genuinely aiming for economic growth when it encourages more people to become reliant on the state? Leading people by the nose into dead-end dependency isn't good for the country and it isn't compassionate.

To paraphrase political commentator Colin James who recently noted, "(This government's aim) is a more socially equitable society....the means is by redistribution of resources ...that needs high relative incomes overall.... which requires faster economic growth."

That is a paradox. Robbing Peter to pay Paul actually robs them both of their incentive to work

Look out for dependency numbers to grow over the next few years. It will get worse before more people wake up to Labour's only agenda - securing a third term in office. Whether they will wake up in time to provide enough of a constituency for real reform is a question I prefer not to dwell on.

Lindsay Mitchell

Petitioner for a Parliamentary Review of the DPB

e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

ph/fx 04 562 7944


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election