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Supporting more people off welfare

Hon Anne Tolley

Minister for Social Development

31 October 2016

Supporting more people off welfare

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the latest Better Public Services update shows the number of working age people on a main benefit fell to 279,769 at the end of March 2016, and has reduced the future liability to the benefit system and taxpayers by $3.6 billion.

“As part of this Government’s Better Public Service targets, we are working to help more families be independent of welfare and reduce the future costs of long-term benefit dependence,” Mrs Tolley says.

“In 2014 we set an ambitious new target to reduce benefit dependence, and we’ve seen the numbers drop by around 15,000 since then. If we go back to 2011, the number of people receiving a main benefit has fallen by around 51,000.

“We’ve also reduced the long-term, future cost of the welfare system by $12 billion since 2011.

“We know that children who grow up in benefit dependent homes have poorer outcomes – 48 per cent will not achieve NCEA Level 2, 48 per cent will be notified to Child, Youth and Family and 45 per cent will end up on a benefit themselves.

“As part of Budget 2016, we invested $111.5 million over four years to help more people gain sustainable employment, targeted at those who have the highest risk of staying on a benefit long term.

“This includes funding for intensive, work-focused case management for 120,000 clients targeted at sole parents and people with health conditions and disabilities. It also includes funding for the extension of the Youth Service, which helps young people at risk of long term benefit dependence gain education qualifications, training and prepares them for employment.

“This Government is committed to helping people off welfare and into work, and investing in their futures so they, and their children can succeed.”

ends

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