Lindsay Mitchell blogs on one of National’s significant achievements – breaking the inter-generation cycle of social dysfunction:
. . . I asked MSD how many sole parents were on any benefit in 2008, 2011 and 2014 (June quarter).
Knowing they would provide working age numbers (18-64) I also asked for sole parents aged 16-17.
The results are graphed below. 18-64 year-olds follow an expected pattern – up during the recession. Though it should be noted that today the numbers are lower than after the economic boom period up to 2008.
Most interestingly though, the 16-17 year-old numbers have just plummeted. Across all ethnicities! Exactly what National wanted to achieve. And it’s not a the result of more 16-17 young parents being denied assistance. The teenage birth rate is also tracking down quite significantly.
This development cannot be overstated in importance. It means fewer children at risk of ill-health, under achievement, neglect or abuse, disaffection and drop-out, ending up in state care, and ultimately convictions and imprisonment – all most common among children with very young parents.
It represents a break in the inter-generational cycle of social dysfunction. Truly good news. . .
It is indeed truly good news for the people who are not trapped on welfare with all the negative consequences that is more likely to lead to.
It is also good news for the rest of us – more people in work and fewer on welfare saves us the long term social and financial costs of benefit dependency.
If people are looking for just one reason to vote for National this is one of the better ones because it is determined to carry on addressing the causes of problems like this rather than just throwing money at the symptoms.