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Another Pointless Reshuffle Harms Job Prospects

"The Government's decision to move Community Employment away from WINZ must be viewed with a large degree of skepticism," says National's Social Services spokesman Bob Simcock.

Community Employment is to be placed under the mantle of the Department of Labour, in a move announced today by Work and Income Minister Steve Maharey.

"This is part of a pattern in which the Government is stripping WINZ of all the tools which it needs to help the unemployed into jobs," Mr Simcock says.

"The Government's already axed the Community Wage scheme, and instructed WINZ not to 'hassle' people to take up available jobs. Combined with today's announcement that leaves WINZ stuck in the role of simply paying out benefits, instead of having any means of helping people improve their prospects.

"That's a complete attack on the one-stop-shop approach which was greeted warmly by beneficiaries and which is being copied around the world. It will mean the return of the dole queue, with people going to WINZ simply to sign on.

"Whether the aim of the change is pure ideological zealotry or an attempt to punish Christine Rankin by weakening her department, either way it's not good for people who want jobs," Bob Simcock says.

Ends

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