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Rising number of children on welfare sparks concerns about long-term impact

Summarised by Centrist 

Lindsay Mitchell writes that government statistics reveal the number of children raised on welfare reached a new high of 222,500 by the end of 2023. While temporary financial assistance is essential for those facing hardship, long-term dependence on welfare can have detrimental effects on families and children’s future prospects.

Mitchell argues that government policies aimed at increasing benefit income have inadvertently drawn more parents on to welfare.

She says that under former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who made herself Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, the government, in effect, “decided to pay parents more not to work by further closing the gap between income from the state and income from employment.”

While this approach has technically lifted some children out of poverty, it has also led to homes where no one is employed, resulting in a lack of routine, discipline, and appreciation for education. 

“So, even against a backdrop of low unemployment, it is no surprise that the number of children in benefit-dependent homes has risen,” she says. 

The stats also show regional disparities. Areas of low school attendance and high reliance on benefits coinciding.

Read more over at Lindsay Mitchell blogspot

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