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Treasury Forecasts Bode Ill For Welfare Bill

Media Release
Treasury Forecasts Bode Ill For Welfare Bill
Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Treasury report released today forecasts unemployment rising to 5.7 percent by 2010.

Commenting on this prediction, welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell said, "To put that number into perspective, last time unemployment was at that level, in September 2000, 135,000 people were claiming the unemployment benefit - 112,000 more than today."

"Bear in mind too, that 5.7 percent of today's labour force represents more people than it did in 2000."

"Additionally, whenever unemployment rises so do numbers on other benefits, particularly the Domestic Purposes Benefit. During two previous periods of rapid unemployment growth - 1980 to 1983 and 1985 to 1988, DPB numbers climbed by 30 and 32 percent respectively."

"This is a time when it is crucial that government ensures that the numbers of people resorting to welfare for reasons other than unemployment are contained. For example, a stand-down period for the DPB would discourage families from splitting in order to claim two benefits instead of one."


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