Here’s John Key explaining why sickness and invalid’s benefit numbers are increasing (and, hence, the need for some good old fashioned National beneficiary-bashing):
“the previous government encouraged a move off the unemployment benefit into those categories, which aren’t work tested”
You’ve been caught out on this lie by The Standard authors before, John. Did you think it would slip by us now?
There was no policy of ‘hiding’ unemployment beneficiaries on the sickness and invalids benefits under Labour. The total number of beneficiaries plunged under Labour and it was led down by the number on the unemployment benefit. The numbers on the sickness benefit, in contrast, rose only slightly above population growth, due to the ageing population.
Contrast Labour’s record with National’s.
We know the number on the unemployment benefit has skyrocketed by 45,000 while John Key has minced around the country having his photo taken but it’s less widely known that there have been dramatic increases in the numbers on the sickness and invalid’s benefits too.
In just one year of National, the number on the sickness and invalid’s benefits climbed by 10,000, compared to a growth of 50,000 over Labour’s whole nine years in power. Instead of bringing down sickness and invalid numbers, Key has been them climb much faster than before.
Key can hardly blame Labour for that can he? By his logic, the increase is probably his government trying to hide the number of newly unemployed Kiwi workers.
The reality though is that more New Zealanders are in late-middle age than ever before. For that reason a higher portion are unable to work due to ill health and have to fall back on the sickness and invalid’s benefits.
Making these people jump through more hoops to get their benefits is a waste of time and money. If they could work, they would. They are not bludgers. But, short of any real ideas for the economy and creating jobs, beneficiary bashing is all Key can do.