16 Sep 2012

Labour urges DPB recipient study allowance

12:07 pm on 16 September 2012

Labour wants the Government to prove it is serious about ending welfare dependency by reinstating a university costs allowance for beneficiaries.

In recent weeks, the Government has brought in a raft of welfare changes, and on Thursday a study put the cost of keeping people on benefits over their working lives at $78.1 billion.

The Government-commissioned report studied those on invalid, sickness, unemployment and domestic purposes benefits over a two-year period and calculated their cost to the taxpayer, until they reached 65.

The valuation used a baseline of anyone receiving welfare benefits in the 2010-2011 year and applied averaged data from the past 20 years of the likelihood of them staying on benefits, moving off them or going between benefits.

Labour says if the Government wants to get people off the benefit, it has to invest in their education.

The training incentive allowance for DPB recipients studying at tertiary level was scrapped three years go and the Social Development Minister's office says it is not being brought back.

The report shows the DPB will cost the taxpayer the most, and the Tertiary Education Union says it makes sense to give single parents incentives to go to university.