Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Long-term beneficiaries targeted

Photo / APN
Photo / APN

The Government wants Work and Income to cut the number of long-term beneficiaries on a working-age benefit by 30 per cent over five years, Prime Minister John Key has just announced.

That would see the number of people on working age benefits drop from 78,000 to 55,000 by 2017.

It also wants to cuts criminal re-offending by 25 per cent by 2017 and cut total crime by 15 per cent.

The new goals are part of 10 specific targets the Government is setting the public sector under the programme called "better public services."

One of the targets relating to NCEA was announced by Mr Key in March and some by Finance Minister Bill English in the Budget.

Today they have completed the list.

The welfare target just announced relates to people on unemployment related benefits, the sickness benefit, women alone benefits and sole parents and widows whose youngest children are aged over 14. All of those benefits will become known next year as"job seeker support" from July next year.

"These targets are not a wish-list," Mr Key said. "They are a to-do list."

"It's about delivering what New Zealanders really want and expect from their public services."

Mr Key said some of the targets were very "aspirational."

"In fact some of them will be extremely difficult to achieve," he said. "But I make absolutely no apology for having high expectations and wanting New Zealanders to get the most out of their public services."

The following are the result areas and targets:

Reducing long-term welfare dependence:

Result 1. Reduce the number of people who have been on a working-age benefit for more than 12 months by 30 per cent by 2017.

Supporting vulnerable children:

Result 2. Increase participation in early childhood education from 94.7 per cent in 2011 to 98 per cent in 2016.

Result 3. Increase infant immunisation rates from 92.8 per cent for two-years to 95 per cent for eight month old by 2017; and reduce the incidence of rheumatic fever by two thirds to 1.4 cases per 100,000 by 2017.

Result 4. Reduce the number of assaults on children by 1000 - it's on a trajectory to rise from 3000 a year to 4000 a year in 2017.

Boosting skills and employment

Result 5. Increasing the proportion of 18-year-olds with NCEA level 2 or equivalent from 67 per cent in 2010 to 85 per cent in 2017.

Result 6. Increase the proportion of 25 - 34 year olds with advanced trade qualifications, diplomas and degrees (at level four and above) from 52 per cent in 2012 to 55 per cent.

Reducing crime

Result 7. Reduce the rates of total crime by 15 per cent by 2017 or 45,000 fewer crimes each year; reduce violent crime by 20 per cent or 7500 fewer violent crimes each year; and reduce youth crime by 5 per cent. or 600 fewer 14 - 16 year olds appearing in court.

Result 8. Reduce reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017 - which means 600 fewer prisoners and 18,500 fewer victims of crime each year from 2017.

Improving interaction with Government:

Result 9. New Zealand businesses have a one-stop online shop for all Go Government advice and support they need to run and grow their business.

Result 10.New Zealanders can complete their transactions with Government easily in a digital environment, aiming for 70 per cent of common transaction with Governing to be done digitally compared with 24 per cent now.

- NZ Herald

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