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DPB Numbers Up

DPB Numbers Up

The number of people claiming the DPB is up by 1286 for the year ending June 2003. "This is even more than Treasury forecast, " said Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.

"The likely cause is legislation passed at the end of last year, which relaxed worktesting to allow parents to take up work 'as and when their family responsibilities allow.' Although the law change didn't take effect until March 2003, worktesting was largely relaxed in anticipation of the new rule."

"In the Wellington region alone, the increase in DPB numbers was 183. A single parent on this benefit typically has 1.7 children so around 300 children, a number the size of an average school roll, have now become dependent on the state."

"In response to National MP, Katherine Rich's well-researched welfare discussion paper, Mr Maharey is now widely promoting the idea that welfare dependency is not a problem in New Zealand - that the National Party have simply 'got it wrong'."

"If the equivalent of an entire school roll going onto welfare in the space of a year isn't a problem, then it is difficult to imagine what is," Mitchell finished.

Lindsay Mitchell

Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB

(petition forms available at www.liberalvalues.org.nz) e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

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