21 Jul 2014

'Progress' on public services targets

7:02 pm on 21 July 2014

The Government says it is making good progress in reducing long-term welfare dependency and in ensuring more young people get higher qualifications.

Jonathan Coleman.

Jonathan Coleman. Photo: RNZ

It says the latest update of its better public services targets confirm it is having an effect on the most difficult issues families and communities face.

State Services Minister Jonathan Coleman said on Monday that, in the past 12 months, the number of people on long-term unemployment benefits has dropped 8.5 percent.

Dr Coleman said level two NCEA pass rates are rising and more young people are achieving level four qualifications.

As well, the Government reports crime is down and more work is being done to reduce rheumatic fever.

Dr Coleman said setting targets has encouraged government agencies to work more effectively.

Finance minister Bill English spending on welfare would be $1 billion lower than forecast.