1 Sep 2020

Covid-19: Huge increase in benefit applications during Level 4

From Morning Report, 6:42 am on 1 September 2020

There was an unprecedented increase in the number of people applying for benefits in April this year when the country was in Alert Level 4.

Figures in a Ministry of Social Development report show the increase of nearly 12 percent in just one month is the biggest rise in a quarter century, nearly double the next largest increase.

The report also predicts the number of people on a benefit by January will be over 16 percent of the working age population.

A senior research fellow at Victoria University, Michael Fletcher - who also served as special advisor on the welfare expert advisory group - spoke to Harry Lock, about the report's findings, and what it means.