â€˜Unemployment benefits at record low.’
The number of people receiving the unemployment benefit has fallen to just 17,465. That’s the lowest number since at least 1979. At the same time, Sickness Benefit numbers fell 1,542 (3%) in the last year, DPB numbers are down 12% in the last five years. Overall, benefit numbers have dropped by 120,000 since National was booted out of office.
Nearly a quarter of a billion dollars has been saved by the reduction in unemployment benefit numbers this year alone, money that can be spent on other public services.
As the Left has always said, work is the best form of social security. Rather than the punitive approach favoured by National, the Government has realised people don’t want to be on measly $200 a week benefits and has helped them into work.
In the world of mini-scandals, it’s easy to forget about this bedrock stuff; ensuring there are jobs for people is one of the most important things a government does. Let’s hope the astounding success we’ve seen in getting people off benefits and into work continues.
[But wait, didn’t we have all those headlines on the â€˜shocking’ unemployment numbers in May? Why would unemployment be up but benefit number down? It’s hard to say. It’s worth noting that the benefit numbers are a definite count by MSD of the number of benefits it is paying out, but the unemployment % is a survey figure from Stats NZ and has a small margin of error.]