23 Feb 2017

Fewer teenage parents on benefit

3:34 pm on 23 February 2017

The number of teenage mothers requiring a benefit has more than halved in the past seven years.

School child and mother

School child and mother Photo: 123RF

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said at the end of 2016 there were just over 1800 young mothers on a benefit, down from more than 4000 in 2009.

She said teenage parents had some of the highest lifetime costs of any group on welfare, going on to spend more than 17 years on benefits.

Mrs Tolley was crediting the Youth Service, which was started in 2012, for supporting those parents and getting them off benefits and into training and education.