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Maharey Statements Just Plain Wrong Says Simcock

13 January 2000
MEDIA STATEMENT

For Immediate Release
Bob Simcock
National Social Welfare Spokesman

MAHAREY STATEMENTS JUST PLAIN WRONG SAYS SIMCOCK

Steve Maharey's claims that the National Government ran down the services of the Children, Young Persons and their Family Agency (CYPFA) do not square with the facts, says National's Social Welfare spokesman Bob Simcock.

"National's initiatives in the area have made for a better funded, more effective agency.

"We separated CYPFA out from the large bureaucratic mess of the Social Welfare department, and we have put more money into the service in the last two budget we brought down.

"Mr Maharey quotes selectively from the briefing papers. He ignores the comments in the papers that advise the budget increases under National in 1998 saw funding for the service restored to 1992-93 levels ($219.933 million in 1998/99) in real terms, and further increases in recognition of greater needs were also voted in the 1999 Budget ($292.580 million)

"He also ignores the new initiatives brought in by National such as the Family Start programme, with an additional $41 million pumped into this service in the 1999 Budget alone, and the 6.6 million extra into budgeting services for families, along with a whole host of other programmes.

"The new Minister needs to stop shooting from the lip and tell us how he intends to address the wider societal issue of the break down of families. No amount of money for CYPFA will replace the role of the parents in society.

"The last Government invested heavily in helping families to make sure they don't need to call on CYPFA.

"That is the larger issue which Maharey is ignoring in the interests of scoring a few cheap political points. CYPFA, nor any other government agency can ever do what kiwi families need to do.

"National will continue to argue that the problems in families today can not be completely solved by central Government, but must be solved by the families first, with help from the Government where needed. Those are the issues Mr Maharey should be addressing, not misrepresenting figures shamelessly," Mr Simcock said.

ENDS


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