Last week Social Development Minister Paula Bennett issued media releases which said the future focus was helping to reduce the number of people on benefits and benefit figures were under forecast.
Yesterday the Herald on Sunday featured Labour’s Jacinda Ardern saying more people were on benefits.
So who’s right?
Kiwiblog has the figures:
Let’s look at the actual data, in terms of increase or decrease each year. For DPB they are
- 2008 +2,128
- 2009 +9,007
- 2010 +3,576
- 2011 +1,365
- 2012 -5,112
I think we now understand why Jacinda left the 2012 figures off. What I don’t know if why the Herald on Sunday did.
Let’s do the same with Invalid’s Benefit numbers.
- 2008 +3,419
- 2009 +1,537
- 2010 +67
- 2011 -1,062
- 2012 -472
And for those interested in the Unemployment Benefit.
- 2008 +7,760
- 2009 +35,820
- 2010 +756
- 2011 -7,120
- 2012 -6,217
They all show the same thing. The increase in benefit numbers started in 2008 (under Labour) and worsened in 2009 as the Global Financial Crisis struck. Despite patchy economic growth since 2009, benefit numbers in all three categories have fallen in the last two years.
And Lindsay Mitchell provides more analysis which shows Ardern is wrong.
Opposition MPs are supposed to show up government failings but it’s not at all clever to use dodgy stats to do it.
Reporters are supposed to check facts and provide balance, the one who wrote this story failed on both counts.