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Maharey Must Reveal Welfare Plan In Budget

Wednesday 14th Jun 2000
Dr Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

Thursday’s budget is not only a test of the Government’s economic credibility, but also of how it intends to control its biggest budget item, welfare. There is an expectation that this budget should clearly signal how the Government intends to get New Zealanders off welfare and into real jobs, according to ACT Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman.

Social Services Minister Steve Maharey has already been identified as an underperforming Minister in the Government’s ranks because of his inability to put the rhetoric of Opposition into a detailed policy framework for Welfare.

Muriel Newman said that on Budget day Steve Maharey would be forced to front up and show exactly what his plans for this portfolio are.

“In spite of being in the job for six months, Steve Maharey’s failed dismally to articulate any coherent vision for welfare. This failure has simply heightened public perception that Labour is soft on welfare. All they have heard is that Mr Maharey plans to scrap debts, sanctions, and the community wage. He’s even gone so far as to tell people on community work schemes, who are gaining benefits from participating, that they needn’t bother turning up at all. What sort of leadership is that?,” she said.

“As if Mr Maharey’s lack of detailed plans to help people move from welfare into work was not bad enough, this Government’s anti-jobs and anti business policies makes its task of getting New Zealanders off welfare and into real jobs doubly hard. Until they recognise that it is businesses, not governments that create jobs, it is the unemployed who will suffer the most. ” said Muriel Newman.

For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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