Top work Paula

Paula Bennett has slashed the amount of taxpayers money paid to bludgers with her welfare changes.

Tougher welfare rules have helped cut the future cost of the welfare system by $3 billion.

A new valuation of the future costs of social welfare, issued by the Social Development Ministry yesterday, shows the total lifetime liability of the system jumped in the year to June last year from $78.1 billion to $86.8 billion,

But this was almost entirely because of falling interest rates, which lifted the current value of future welfare costs.

Estimated future costs also increased slightly because the unemployment rate was 0.6 per cent higher than the Treasury had forecast when Australian consultants Taylor Fry prepared their first $1 million baseline valuation as at June 2011.

But the number of people on benefits last June was less than expected for that level of unemployment. 

Well done, saving $3 billion in welfare allows money to be spent on the productive sector of New Zealand.

Taylor Fry said: “A key contributor to this is likely to be the impact of policy and operational changes related to earlier Future Focus reforms of September 2010.”

Changes made then included requiring sole parents to look for part-time work when their youngest child turned 6, making people on unemployment benefits reapply annually for their benefit, imposing stricter criteria for the invalids’ benefit, and making sickness beneficiaries look for part-time work as soon as they were medically able to do so.

Council of Christian Social Services director Trevor McGlinchey said the changes effectively made it harder to get on to a benefit and harder to stay on one – but did not create any more jobs to go into.

There is always a whinger who will support bludgers. Expect Labour to have a moan too.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.