The Dim-Post

March 7, 2012

Chart of the day, la peste edition

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 10:33 am

Someone in the comments for the last post dared me to generate a chart showing the number of sickness beneficiaries over the last few years (it’s an article of faith amongst certain circles that Labour took all the drug addicts off the unemployment benefit and added them to the sickness benefit.) Anyway, here’s the chart. I’ve added in median age, to make the point that as the population ages it gets sicker, thus – I would argue – the steady increase in sickness beneficiaries.

Also, DPF suggested I show these figures as a percentage of the working age population. The problem with that is, again, the aging population – if you present the data like that then it looks like more people are going onto benefits, when actually there’s a broader – unrelated – demographic change confusing the data.

(Dates on the x-axis are at the top because Excel was being annoying.)

42 Comments »

  1. How about the percentage of people on the sickness benefit broken down by age-group? A greater proportion of working age NZers may be 45-50 year-olds today than 15 years ago, but what percentage of 45-50 year-olds are (and were) on sickness benefits? If that has increased, there might be something in the argument. If not, you’d have shut them up. Well, the ones who care about evidence, anyway.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — March 7, 2012 @ 10:45 am

  2. Hey Danyl you could always ditch excel and use something like ManyEyes http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/

    Comment by R Singers — March 7, 2012 @ 10:45 am

  3. This might be easier to compare if you used the same colour scheme as the previous post. Also that shade of green is kinda sickly, so I keep thinking it’s the sickness beneficiaries numbers.

    Comment by pete — March 7, 2012 @ 10:48 am

  4. I reject this chart as not having sufficient truthiness.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 7, 2012 @ 10:48 am

  5. Given sickness beneficiary numbers doubled while unemployment numbers halved, I’d say that Certain Circles are onto something😛

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  6. Another variable: ACC is now tougher on older people who have had accidents because they invariably also have some sort of degenerative condition. If they can’t return to work they get classified as sickness beneficiaries not ACC recipients as they would have in the past. Not sure if the numbers are high enough to make a difference to overall % though.

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 10:54 am

  7. We’re getting there … but how about adding Working for Families as well? The previous commenter requested all benefits to be added (working benefits and non working benefits).

    Let’s see the full picture and then have a proper debate.

    Comment by Jim Hallen — March 7, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  8. For all the talk about Labour putting unemployment beneficiaries onto sickness benefits, it’s important to note that we’ve only ever had more sickness beneficiaries than unemployment beneficiaries since National have got into power.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — March 7, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  9. And while we’re adding in benefits, how about all the tax credits and write-offs businesses can claim? Add them in, too. Let’s see the full picture Danyl. Stop being so nasty and start attacking Labour again. That’s the only time you’re ever funny.

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  10. suggested I show these figures as a percentage of the working age population. The problem with that is, again, the aging population – if you present the data like that then it looks like more people are going onto benefits, when actually there’s a broader – unrelated – demographic change confusing the data.

    Hang on a second. You have to be a member of the W.A.P in order to qualify for Sickness of Unemployment benefits – all the oldies are already on Super.

    In other words, if total Sickness Benefit numbers are flat, when our population is aging (and not growing) that is a real change that should be shown.

    Comment by Phil — March 7, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  11. Hang on a second. You have to be a member of the W.A.P in order to qualify for Sickness of Unemployment benefits – all the oldies are already on Super.

    Yeah, but if median age of the working population is also increasing, an increasing number of sickness and invalid benefits is likely – only question is whether it’s increasing faster than the median age – doesn’t look to be, from that graph.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 7, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  12. @Me too
    I would agree with your post concerning A.C.C. claimants being exited off income support from A.C.C. and being transferred over to sickness benefits. A.C.C.dumped 8000 people off their books in 2011 claiming degenerative conditions which was disingenous and dishonest.A significant number of those dumped were in the 40 plus age group and have not had their injuries attended to and stand little chance of getting a job in a depressed labour market. Employers are also reluctant to employ a person with disabilities because it could expose them to liabilities in the future.

    Comment by Kevin — March 7, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  13. Could I have fries with the next version please? And a banana milkshake.

    Comment by insider — March 7, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  14. Looking at this graph and the last one it looks like there aren’t actually many people on benefits at all. So I guess we can add benefit bashing to immigrant bashing as way of distracting people from your other, really unpopular, policies…..like assets s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶p̶i̶n̶g̶ sales.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — March 7, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

  15. And figures showing the growth of Mr Dunne’s coiffeur during this period. We want ALL the figures dammit!

    Comment by Leopold — March 7, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  16. Assuming you don’t have a job and just spend your time producing graphs for our benefit – can I see the figures showing the tax benefits to landlords from LAQC and to everybody who bought a house in NZ over the last 50 years from not paying a capital gains tax?

    Comment by Amy — March 7, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  17. Just the family home Amy or second houses? Perhaps Danyl could do two lines, one for each?

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

  18. What Amy said, but adjusted for the value of damage done to the housing stock from officially sanctioned-but-somewhat-crap building methods, inflated for the suicide deaths of the homeowners affected but unable to sue their council. Etc.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 7, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  19. And correct for private home owners spending money on maintenance that they never thought to structure their affairs such that they could claim tax rebates on.

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

  20. Danyl’s graphs have really changed. Now they are much more jagged and nasty. I don’t know why they’ve become so nasty, but I’m not the only one to notice this.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 7, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  21. As a dotted line, perhaps with a RHS, highlight the loss in value of land that councils permitted, but that should never have been built on – distinguishing between: flood-prone, earthquake prone, containinated by industrial chemicals, confisgated maori land requiring clear-felling of native bush & land subject to sea erosion. And hemlines.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 7, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

  22. “Now they are much more jagged and nasty.”
    Jagged ones can cut to the chase more easily.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 7, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  23. Serious for a second: can a inversion of the UEB line be set agaoinst the % of the W.A.P. in work/actively seeking work? Just to see who has taken themselves out of the job market? I’d do it myself but i lazy and unskilled when it comes to the graphs n stuff.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 7, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

  24. With a line showing the birth rate too CF. Does this correlate with baby booms?

    (But then how many women are removing themselves from actively seeking work in order to have legitimate babies and how many of these women are just teenage sluts?)

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

  25. Where are all these sluts to be found? Few women I’ve ever chatted spoken to are up for it.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 7, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

  26. 25.Where are all these sluts to be found? Few women I’ve ever chatted spoken to are up for it.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 7, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  27. Ah, “strike” not simply “s”. You can see I’m lazy and unskilled at the ach tea em el as well.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 7, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  28. In the US, they’re to be found at Catholic University law schools apparently. In NZ, at the local WINZ office.

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  29. Or you could hang out at the next Slut Walk march.

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  30. So is anyone keen to start some sort of scoreboard for the war between Danyl and DPF?

    Comment by alex — March 7, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  31. Pity we cant get the number of tax cheats on that line too….

    Comment by max — March 7, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

  32. Make a graph Alex, and include a line on the frequency of Danyls criticisms of dpf’s interests and another line for the govt’s poll ratings

    Comment by Me Too — March 7, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

  33. @CF: I’m pretty sure the free market has provided a solution.

    Comment by helenalex — March 7, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

  34. @helenalex – shot.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 7, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  35. There is data for all beneficiaries. From memory it remains rather constant excepting the massive drop at the start of the 90s.

    Comment by L — March 7, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

  36. Just to add to your homework Danyl, it would be worth looking at the conditions presented by those on the sickness and invalids benefits over time. My recollection is that rather than drug addicts moving on to the UB, a significant driver of the increase in SB and IB in the past decade or so have been people with stress and depression. There’s also been movement from the SB to IB

    Comment by Augie — March 8, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  37. I’m surprised on a thread about beneficiary bashing no one has suggested just adding the graph of the number of people collecting super as a percentage. Presumably everyone intuitively sees that will mean that the trends of all the other lines will be invisible in a confused cluster at the bottom of the graph.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — March 8, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  38. @helenalex – “I’m pretty sure the free market has provided a solution.”
    :^)
    It has, although excessive regulation lead to all sorts of problems there for a while.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 8, 2012 @ 5:44 pm


  39. all the other lines will be invisible in a confused cluster at the bottom

    That describes most New Zealanders, those not; better-off, white, and over 50,

    Comment by George D — March 8, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  40. Who the fuck is DPF & why should I care what he thinks?

    Pissing contests are boring. Stop being such a politician.

    Comment by Lissa — March 8, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

  41. Where is the data from?

    Comment by mermop — March 9, 2012 @ 9:17 am


  42. Who the fuck is DPF & why should I care what he thinks?

    Pissing contests are boring.

    Quite.

    Comment by George D — March 9, 2012 @ 12:20 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: