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Benefit Expenditure Hits All-Time High

Benefit Expenditure Hits All-Time High

November 9, 2004

Despite unemployment being at a seventeen-year low, overall spending on cash benefits has reached an all-time high of $13.362 billion. Expenditure on sickness and invalid benefits has doubled, as has spending on the accommodation supplement.

Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB, Lindsay Mitchell, noted, "According to the just-released Crown Accounts Analysis for the year ended June 2004, expenditure on social assistance cash benefits comprising DPB, Widows and Families benefits, has increased by sixty percent over the past ten years."

"The government is now spending $2.727 billion on these benefits. This is higher than ever before, despite the Minister of Social Development, Steve Maharey's repeated assurances that his reforms are working and the numbers are dropping."

"This is a very poor showing for a government which has enjoyed, in the Minister's own words, a 'booming economy'. It begs the question, what can we expect in an economic downturn?"

Lindsay Mitchell petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB forms available from www.liberalvalues.org.nz contact dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

ENDS


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