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Govt Admits High Rate of Non-Working Homes

Media release

Govt Admits High Rate of Non-Working Homes

Thursday, April 27, 2006

According to a cabinet paper released today, "The New Zealand economy has enjoyed more than a decade of strong expansion. Today New Zealand has the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD. Yet despite low unemployment, more than 13% of households have no-one in work."

This phenomena persists because there are still 283,000 people between 18 and 64 living on a benefit.

This equates to one in eight households. Geographically, the workless homes are clustered so there are suburbs where the rate rises to one in two or three. Almost half of these homes have dependent children living in them.

According to the Lindsay Mitchell, anti-DPB campaigner, "The vast bulk of these children are growing up on the DPB. They have no daily working role model and grow up knowing only that Mum or Dad gets 'paid' each week by WINZ. Many, in turn, will become state dependents. Research puts that figure at around one third."

"With jobs in abundance it is a matter of urgency that parents move into them. Even if their material circumstances are not immediately significantly improved the outlook for their children will be."

footnote; DPB numbers are down 2,300 to year ending March 2006. Invalid and Sickness benefits are up by 4,400 over the same period. Some single parents have transferred onto these benefits.

ENDS

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