Over the period you have chosen to analyse there were 31,000 fewer working age beneficiaries and I agree. that can only be good news (albeit the decrease may mainly involve short-term dependants and reflect economic conditions rather than welfare reforms. Hard to know now the longevity reporting has changed.) But there were 79,000 more superannuitants. When is National going to address this problem?
I don't see Super in the same light as a benefit for a number of reasons. However it's still a debit on government revenue which is growing every year, faster than any decrease in the working age welfare bill.
Eligibility for the very first Old Age pension was set at 65. It's madness to ignore how different 65 year-olds of today are.
Key's obstinence over this matter is one of his few electoral vulnerabilities.