In New Zealand, 328,000 people are receiving a benefit – over 10% of the entire working age population.  More than 170,000 of those have spent at least five of the past 10 years on a benefit.  There are 222,000 children living in benefit-dependent homes.  The government spends $20 million a day on benefits.

We have to ask whether this is what the architects of the welfare state had in mind.  I don’t think it is.You measure a society by how it looks after its most vulnerable.  But you also measure a society by how many vulnerable people it creates.

That is why National is announcing an overhaul of an outdated system that has for too long kept New Zealanders trapped in a life of limited choices.

We are moving to a more targeted, supportive approach that will give better outcomes.