May 1, 2009

Government report on welfare leavers at odds with narrative


Kudos to the Tyee’s Andrew MacLeod for extracting a long delayed report on welfare leavers from the provincial government. The report can be downloaded here. Andrew’s Tyee article about the report can be found here.

The report uses tax data of BC welfare leavers between 2000 and 2005 to see how people have done. Comparing those who left welfare before 2002 (when the government brought in sweeping welfare changes) with those who left after 2002 is very revealing. It turns out that the post-reform leavers were no more likely to find work, their incomes were less than the pre-2002 leavers, and they were more likely to be below the poverty line.

All of this stands in stark contrast to a government narrative that has long insisted that welfare caseloads declined after their 2002 reforms because more people were leaving welfare for work.

For more details, see Andrew’s piece.