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Minister At Sea On Unemployment

Thursday 6th Jul 2000
Dr Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

ACT Employment and Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said that the Associate Minister of Social Services and Employment, Ruth Dyson revealed in question time today that she has absolutely no idea of her Department’s unemployment statistics.

Asked today to explain why long term unemployment over 6 months and 2 years had grown around 10% in Labour’s first six months, Ms Dyson said that when Labour came in, the number of people registered unemployed was 179,384.

Muriel Newman said the real figure was 233,411.

“Ms Dyson also said the number registered at the ninth of June was 152,967. It was not. It was around 228,000,” she said.

“Ms Dyson was quoting figures that included a seperate wide range of benefit recipients , including emergency students and other benefit statistics that were irrelevant to the question,” said Muriel Newman.

“The fact is that long term registered unemployment over 6 months has grown rapidly by 12,000 to 151,000 in Labour’s first six months. Since the Minister has stated that reducing long term unemployment is the highest priority of government, she needs to be held accountable for this worrying rise,”.she said.

“Ruth Dyson should apologise for getting her facts wrong and acknowledge the simple fact that the long term statistics have grown 10% during the Labour Government’s first six months. The numbers are before her in black in white,” said Dr Muriel Newman.

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