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Benefits larger and easier to get under Labour

The Government plans to remove all incentives for beneficiaries to get a job and plans to pay people more to stay on the dole, says National's Work and Income spokesperson Belinda Vernon.

"Social Services Minister Steve Maharey told the Social Services Select Committee today that the government is working to make it easier for people to get a benefit.

"He revealed that the government will pay beneficiaries more for doing more. So if you're on a benefit, you can do more courses and go for more job interviews and the government will pay you more on top of your benefit.

"At the same time, the government is working on raising abatement levels so people can stay on the benefit, work part time and keep even more money, completely removing any incentive to get full time work and get off the dole.

"Mr Maharey's idealistic world will quickly take us back to the days when you could get more on a benefit than in a job.

"While the government removes incentives to work and makes benefits easier to get, Mr Maharey is counting on beneficiaries having a 'sense of responsibility to take up opportunities.' But why get a job when you've got it so good?

"Mr Maharey makes a big deal about social exclusion and talks about focus on inclusion. With a third of New Zealand already included on WINZ's books, how many people does he want included?

"Mr Maharey says there must be incentives for people to get into work, but in the same breath says he's removing existing incentives.

"Under this Minister, the only thing that looks like growing are the dole queues," says Ms Vernon.


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