As election year dawns, one of the biggest credibility challenges this government faces is their failure to combat some of our biggest social ills. Hence the catch cry that Labour is soft on crime, gangs and soft welfare. With all these stats heading in the wrong direction, they are complicit.
The MSD’s latest quarterly update on benefit numbers is a sobering read. You’ll recall what grabbed the headlines last week was that total benefit numbers are up five per cent year on year. And Jobseeker Support benefit numbers have jumped ten per cent.
But it gets worse.
In the two years since Labour took power, there are now 15,000 more children being raised in benefit dependent homes.
And there are 7,000 more young people parked up on the dole, compared to two years ago. So much for Mana in Mahi.
Over the weekend I dug deeper into MSD’s December data.
Just look at the growth rate in the number of people parked up on the Jobseeker Support Work Ready benefit, since December 2017. It’s a horror show.
Taranaki, you’re up 19 per cent. The North Island East Coast, up 19 per cent. Northland, up 20 per cent. Bay of Plenty, up 28 per cent. Take a bow Southland, you’ve got the lowest increase, up 10 per cent. The Auckland region, up 47 percent.
And in Canterbury, the number of Jobseeker Support work ready beneficiaries has exploded by 55 per cent, since Labour took power.
Not only are these numbers through the roof, but the proportion of people who’ve remained on the work ready benefit for over a year has also jumped by 20 per cent.
Rapidly expanding welfare is Labour’s record. It flies in the face of all of the posturing on well-being. Hard metrics don’t lie. Entrenching dependence and sapping the will to work by surrendering on sanctions and failing to enforce work-test obligations is simply indefensible.