29 Percent of DPB Population Added Babies to their Benefit
Thursday, November 8, 2011
According to just-released Cabinet papers, at November 2011, 29 percent of single parents on the domestic purposes benefit had included additional newborn children in their benefit.
Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell said that the paper describes how parents who have additional children are more likely to have started on the DPB with a newborn (rather than having exited a relationship with a child), and have no record of having been employed before, after or during spells on a benefit.
The paper also describes the higher incidence of Maori adding children to a benefit. It says that the on-benefit birth rate has increased between 1997 and 2010 from under 35 to 50 per 1,000 women receiving the DPB .
Mitchell says these are the circumstances that have prompted the government to introduce policy to reverse this trend.
"It is well-documented that children who spend many years in workless homes experience poorer social, health and educational outcomes. There can be no justification for adding children to a benefit received on the basis that the mother is already unable to raise her children independently."
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