Monday, October 31, 2011

Interesting figures

There's a post on pundit this morning with some interesting figures in it. From the 2011 budget, a breakdown of social welfare spending :
Sickness benefit: 782.38 (3.40%)
Unemployment benefit & emergency benefit: 1,028.95 (4.40%)
Accommodation assistance: 1,264.23 (5.50%)
Invalid's benefit: 1,346.84 (5.80%)
Student loans: 1,589.68 (6.90%)
Domestic purposes benefit: 1,894.64 (8.20%)
New Zealand superannuation: 9,575.37 (41.30%)

I wasn't aware that superannuation was such a large component and unemployment so small. And it makes the few decades tricky as our pensioner population increases. I'm well aware that increasing the retirement ages disproportionately disadvantages the poor - the better income you have the earlier you can retire. That number is going to increase though.  And with news that Mana is gunning for superannuation for Maori at 60 rather than 65, I can't see that as anything other than irresponsible. (Their reasoning for that is pretty nasty by the way - the fact that Maori die earlier is not a good reason to let them retire earlier, it's reason to try and fix healthcare so they live longer)
And if the unemployment spending is such a small proportion, I don't see how you can reasonably expect to save any money by bashing on the beneficiaries. 4.4% of 23 billion is 1.012 billion. Cut 10 percent out of that and you save 10 million dollars. Which probably less than it would cost in administration to reorganize everything. If nothing else, it makes it quite clear that the unemployed are considered easy targets to vilify and bash by the current government.

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