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Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has asked MSD to carry out further research into the outcomes for people who come off benefit, following the release of a report on the issue from Superu, which analysed pre-welfare reform data.

“Superu looked at historic data from 2010 and 2011, and the report being released today is useful as it provides important baselines for the work which is to be carried out by MSD on clients who moved off benefit following the 2013 welfare reforms,” says Mrs Tolley.

Using information from Statistics New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI), the research found that 75 per cent of people who moved off a benefit had not returned to a benefit after two years. Of the 140,000 cases studied, after 24 months:

33 per cent were in employment 16 per cent had a change in life circumstances, such as retiring or moving overseas, and 8 per cent were enrolled in education or training

The study was unable to identify the main activity of 18 per cent of the former clients, and this will form a major part of MSD’s new analysis, which will use more up to date statistics.

“The report also highlights how certain groups, such as those with health issues or who have been in prison, might need extra support back into employment,” says Mrs Tolley.

“I’m pleased to say that Budget 2016 invested $9 million for trials to support people with health conditions and disabilities into work, alongside $15.3 million to help offenders prepare for, find and stay in employment and reduce reoffending.

“Through the welfare reforms we have been focused on supporting people into education, training and sustainable employment. The proportion of the population (10.3 per cent) receiving a main benefit is now the lowest it’s been in a December quarter since before the Global Financial Crisis.

“The next piece of research from MSD will analyse post-reform data and will be extremely valuable as we continue to look at new and innovative ways of helping people lead independent and successful lives.”

The Superu report is available at: http://superu.govt.nz/off-benefits

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