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Growth In Benefits Outstrips Population Increase

October 22, 2004

Growth In Benefits Outstrips Population Increase

The number of working age people on benefits other than unemployment continues to grow faster than the general population, according to Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.

"The Ministry of Social Development and Employment have just released benefit data for the year ending September 2004. While unemployment continues to drop, the number of working age people (18-64 years) relying on other benefits has increased. In the five year period to September 2004 there has been a seven percent increase, whereas, over the same period, New Zealand's population grew by 5.7 percent."

"DPB numbers remain virtually static despite the increased resources the Ministry has poured into this area. Sickness and invalid benefit numbers have increased over the five years by respectively 36 and 40 percent."

"It must be a real worry for the Government that these trends continue under what the Minister of Social Development and Employment Steve Maharey describes as a 'booming economy'."

Lindsay Mitchell Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB forms available from www.liberalvalues.org.nz e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

ENDS

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