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Labour denies beneficiaries a chance

Belinda Vernon
Opposition Work and Income spokesperson

27 March 2000

Labour denies beneficiaries a chance

The new Government's rash decision-making will trap beneficiaries on benefits, and deny them the chance to stand on their own two feet, says Belinda Vernon, National's Work and Income spokesperson.

She says the WINZ report selectively released by Minister of Social Services Steve Maharey into the community taskforce scheme has flawed methodology that compares apples with oranges and is effectively meaningless.

"It is ironic that the day after Mr Maharey espoused the virtues of partnership between the voluntary sector and government, he reneges on his end of the bargain by pledging to scrap community based schemes like this.

"Mr Maharey seems intent on undoing any successful initiative that isn't his.

"He does not have the interests of unemployed individuals or sole parents at heart - he'd rather leave them on the dole and forget about them.

"The numbers of people on benefits have been steadily falling because of the previous National government's policies. The numbers speak for themselves - all numbers on benefits are coming down.

"It makes no sense to scrap good programmes left right and centre, watch benefit numbers skyrocket then realise he made a mistake.

"People who are long term unemployed need every chance to regain slowly work skills and work ethic - by scrapping this programme the new Minister is denying them that chance," says Ms Vernon.


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