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LINDSAY MITCHELL: Alarming trend in benefit numbers

While there will not be another quarterly release of benefit numbers prior to the election, limited weekly reporting continues and is showing an alarming trend.

Because there is a seasonal component to benefit number fluctuations it is crucial to compare like with like. In the ten week period to September 15, 2023 the number of people on a main benefit has risen by 6,768 or almost two percent, whereas in the ten week period ending September 16, 2022 the numbers were virtually flat with a very small decrease of 141 recipients.

The finance minister Grant Robertson continues to insist the economy is in good shape. This real time indicator would strongly suggest otherwise.

85 percent of the increase is in Jobseeker Support. In turn, over a third of the increased Jobseeker Support is in those receiving Jobseeker/Health Condition or Disability.

These are people who could be working if they could access health treatments.

The detail about the nature of their health conditions is not provided in weekly updates but quarterly trends point to psychological/psychiatric conditions playing a large part.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins claimed in the TV1 leaders debate that the health system is not in crisis. He also constantly boasts about "record low unemployment".

Make of it what you will.

But these numbers don't lie and in the past ten weeks thousands more have lost jobs or become too sick to work.

It must be deeply upsetting for them to hear the Prime Minister willfully ignoring their plight; indeed, denying their very existence.


Lindsay Mitchell blogs here

2,232 views28 comments

28 comentários

Can anyone be truly surprised by this trend? After all socialism begets (indeed encourages) dependency on the state. Dependency on the state demands conformity to state-driven thinking - and thereby easy control by the state.

Labour and the Greens clearly believe that those who have achieved more and are therefore in the higher socioeconomic groups have a moral obligation to support those less advantaged. Indeed we are rapidly developing a regime that fosters a sense of "entitlement without effort". So much so that even the wealth generated by personal effort is to be taxed (in addition to the already high income taxes) to level the playing field.

State enforced charity - driving dependency - is not the way to grow…


23 de set. de 2023

The whole system is naught but a pile of increasing compost... as the graph shows.

Who are you going to believe.

The one partly covered, or the one fully clothed in it ?

I'd dig the lot in and start again


zombie trainspotter
zombie trainspotter
23 de set. de 2023

What is not shown here is the amount of people who are not fit enough to work but who have a partner that earns about $55K? or over. In this circumstance, you are ineligible for income support if you are too ill to work and on top of that, you aren't entitled to disability allowance either.

I have been sick for about ten years and havent had anything from the Govt in that time. Fortunately my husband is healthy and gets a good salary so we get by.

I often wonder how many people in NZ are in this situation, I'd love to know.

I suspect its tens of thousands and it would be worth knowing how many years people…


“These are people who could be working if they could access health treatments.”

If we are seeing an extra six thousand people going on a benefit, the annual cost of supporting them must be in the order of $100m (6,000 x 52 weeks x $320 per week). But by supporting them into (or back into) work at around $50,000 salary, the government collects around $50m in tax instead.

Helping more people into work then means more money for everyone. I’d support any initiative that can do this.


Bene numbers will get worse. Labour encourage them as a potential support base and soft election bribery.. Recently they have become ultra generous.. They paid out $4,500 for a hot water cyclider replacement to us a few weeks ago without any repayment required!

Is there any thought for the future in the govt's widespread giving of Public Monies? It's our grandchildren who will be paying for it. A global economic storm is about to hit.

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