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Benefits now worth less than after they were cut by ‘Mother of all Budgets’ in 1991, Salvation Army says

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Getting by on the benefit has become harder over the past three decades, analysis by the Salvation Army shows.

It said people who had a benefit as their primary household income had experienced price increases that were a quarter higher than general inflation. They had to spend more of their income on rent and electricity, which had become more expensive, but did not get so much of the benefit of a drop in the cost of technology and travel.

From 1991 to 2019, benefits were only increased at the rate of general inflation – with a one-off boost in 2015 –  meaning people living on benefits faced 118 per cent real inflation, while benefits increased just 79 per cent.

The Jobseeker Support core rate is $218.98 a week for a single person without children, aged 25 or over, after tax. An accommodation supplement of up to $70 a week is also available depending on the area in which they live. A sole parent receives $339.69 a week plus up to $305 in accommodation supplement if they have two or more children.

The Salvation Army said benefits would now buy nearly a quarter less in real terms than when they were cut in the “mother of all budgets” in 1991.

At that point, the unemployment benefit was reduced by $14 a week.

It said a 22 per cent increase was needed to catch up. The cost of bringing benefits back in line with their value in 1991 would be $75 a week extra to a sole parent, $60 a week extra for a single person on supported living support, and $48 extra a week for a single person aged over 25 on Jobseeker Support.

The Government decision to increase benefits in line with wage increases from 2020 would not fix the shortfall.

Salvation Army social policy adviser Ronji Tanielu said a 25 per cent increase was needed to address the issues beneficiaries were facing.

“We have child poverty and homelessness in New Zealand like we haven’t seen in generations and the social services we and others are providing are stretched to breaking point. Something has to change.

“The Government’s own experts have said benefits need to increase, we have a prime minister who has made lifting children out of poverty her main goal, and now we have a surplus that can pay for it. If benefits cannot be lifted now, then when will they ever be lifted?”

He said more families were moving out of smaller centres back to Auckland as pressure went on rental markets even in those cheaper areas.

People who were in private rentals had more choice about where they lived, he said, but also experienced more of a crunch when rents rose.

As the minimum wage lifted, people on benefits were left further behind, he said.

“Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced billions of dollars in infrastructure spend to secure the future of New Zealand, we want him to invest in giving people on benefits and their children the opportunity to be part of that future.”

Tanielu said there also needed to be more support for people on a benefit to help them budget and save.

There was increasing demand for the Salvation Army’s affordable loans, he said.

“We want to lift benefit levels but at the same time prepare them for what is out there.”

The answer is very simple. Do not have more kids than you can afford to bring up successfully. To do so is tantamount to child abuse. Do not expect the hard suffering taxpayers to continually pick up the tab.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. We all hear stories of women on the benefit having another kid to go with the brood she already has but won’t fund herself so lives on the benefit paid for by the hardworking taxpayers. How much financial taxpayer funding does a new baby bring in each week for a beneficiary? What do we pay per child from 0 – 18 years of age? Are we getting value for money? Are the kids growing up productive or are their mothers raising another generation who will bring more unproductive and possible criminals into the world?
    Taxpayers dragging themselves out of bed on a daily basis and schleping into a job they probably dislike to work four months out of the year to pay the taxes for those who take the path of least resistance and make no effort to help or fund their own lives. Are taxpayers being taken for a ride? It certainly feels like it.

    21

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    • Is there an automatic path from DPB to been a welfare benefit?
      What happens as the brood starts reaching 18 and the benefit reduces?
      Does she get a top up or have to rely on her brood paying board to fund her lifestyle?

      10

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  2. The answer is actually get a bloody job. Earn your own money, that will be enough to stop you having children by the dozen. When people take self responsibility and pay for themselves they stop having more children than they can afford.

    14

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  3. The Salvation Army got actively involved campaigning for Labour in the last Election.
    I will NEVER contribute another penny to any of their charities or causes.
    Reap what you sow Jesus freaks….

    18

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    • I will never give anything to these cockroaches or any organisation which partners with them. The other day I wanted to donate to the Australian bushfire relief but the major one visible online (Victorian government I think) had the Salvation Army leeching off it, so I chose a different one (rural volunteer fire fighters) instead.

      I don’t know why this organisation gets up my nose so much. I think it’s because they insist on political activism and trying to ‘change the world’ rather than just getting on and helping people who are genuinely in need.

      They’re not a charity. They’re an insufferable socialist pressure group masquerading as a charity.

      20

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  4. I ahve one of those breeders living next door to me.
    She seems to never work, nor doe sher boyfriend and she has 4 kids all nicely spaced apart.
    There is only one way to stop this happening and that is to cancelthe dpb period.
    Once you give to to someone they wil just take more.

    14

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  5. Child Poverty is a nonsense term designed to appeal to emotion – to distract you from the reality that it is really more money for WOMEN.

    Most of the benefit burden is the State paying women to fuck and breed.

    Harsh but true.

    13

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  6. What is the best pragmatic way to stop this?
    Terminate the dpb complexity right now?
    Give it to divorced women for one year only?
    Give it to solo mums for one year only, on the condition that they get their tubes tied.
    Make it compulsory to declare fathers names.
    Give it to solo mums until their child is aged 4 then get a job like everyone else.
    Make it a compulsory subject in the curriculum (like the new climate change syllabus), the tax payers should not have to support anyone who makes bad choices

    How much support would there be for any of these measures?

    5

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    • 1. Stop the breeder benefit in 10 months.
      2. Current benefits continue.

      The cost of the benefit is trivial compared to the social and economic harm that emerges from it.

      It is bad for women, kids and society.

      8

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      • As envisaged the DPB was an enlightened piece of legisalation. When it was introduced in 1972 there was no shortage of women & kids living in dysfunctional relationships with violent drunks.

        It’s been hijacked to the point where it is a breeding platform for slags & their ill brought up loin fruit. Kea’s suggestion is the right one but no current party would be prepared to spend the vast amount of political capital required to unwind the scam.

        8

        0

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