8 Aug 2011

7400 people cut from unemployment benefit

6:16 pm on 8 August 2011

Some 7400 people have had their unemployment benefits cut off following changes the Government made last year.

Prime Minister John Key says this means a saving to the taxpayer of more than $6 million so far, which will rise to just under $10 million by October this year.

The changes included requiring people on the unemployment benefit for more than a year to reapply and prove their eligibility.

They also required people on the Domestic Purposes Benefit with children aged over six to look for part-time work.

Mr Key says about half of the 7400 people did not complete the process and more than 2000 were in work.

Some 1400 had left New Zealand, were studying or just failed to qualify.

The Prime Minister says while this is good result, he acknowledges it also shows that the monitoring of people receiving benefits could be improved.