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Newman Slams “Disgraceful” Hike In Unemployment


ACT Employment Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman says Labour’s Steve Maharey is on course to becoming “the worst-performing Employment Minister the country has ever had”.

Dr Newman slammed the Minister following a reply to a written question which showed the number of people registered as long-term unemployed has soared by more than 14 per cent in the last seven months, now passing the 100,000 milestone.

“Since November the number of long-term unemployed has leapt from 88,876 to stand at 101,718 as at the end of June,” she said.

“In spite of inheriting a strong economy, in just six months Mr Maharey and his Government have managed to add 13,000 names to the long-term unemployed. In spite of all of his fancy talk, the Minister has done nothing to bring down long-term unemployment. In fact his soft on welfare plans, including the planned removal of work for the dole and sanctions on community work, guarantee that long term unemployment will continue to grow strongly.

The WINZ figures have come on top of the announcement today that Carter Holt Harvey is to mothball it’s Mataura mill with the loss of more than 150 jobs.

“At the rate Mr Mahary is going, long term unemployment is likely to near 150,000 if this government goes a full three years. It’s a disgraceful achievement, and a tragedy for those New Zealand families who were hoping for better things under Labour,” concluded Dr Newman.


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