Maharey’s Hands Prove Unsafe
Growing concern within Government ranks over the performance of Social Services and Employment Minister, Steve Maharey was again fuelled yesterday following the Minister’s bungled release of a report to justify axing the community wage.
The Minister was forced into damage control after his key claims about the report, that it covered the Community Work Programme and that the Programme cost $43 million, were proved totally incorrect.
ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today said the Minister, under pressure over his blunder, continued to get his facts wrong claiming that the Community Taskforce and Community Work Programmes differed because one was compulsory and one was not. Dr Newman said under both schemes there was the capacity to compell participants.
“What’s really concerning is that Steve Maharey now has to lead the Government’s push to scrap the Community Work Programme in favour of the old pay and forget benefit system that paid able-bodied people to do nothing, locking them into dependency.
“Steve Maharey may have got off lightly this time but, the Government will find it increasingly difficult to shelter him from exposure as the debate over the future direction of a fair social welfare system heats up and he is forced to put a plan in front of New Zealanders,” said Muriel Newman.