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Govt. letting some beneficiaries do nothing

Bob Simcock
National Employment Spokesperson

Monday 17 July 2000

Govt. letting some beneficiaries choose to do nothing

The Government's letting some beneficiaries choose to do nothing by scrapping the work-for-the-dole scheme, National's Employment spokesperson Bob Simcock said today.

"The work-for-the-dole scheme was a carrot and stick approach to getting people off benefits into work. And a lot of people have got jobs as a result.

"It has provided a platform to get skills and the positive attitude towards getting a job that wasn't there in the past. It has given beneficiaries the opportunity to show employers they can and want to work, and has sent a signal to school leavers that training and work are not optional.

"It is astounding that Employment Minister Steve Maharey has completely wiped any benefits from the scheme. His dismissal of the scheme is an insult to the thousands of New Zealanders who have got into work thanks to it.

"Work-for-the-dole was a big stepping stone into permanent work.

"Steve Maharey's announcement today seems to be turning the clock back, going back to the bad old days where people could get a benefit with no strings attached and no incentive to get back into the workforce.

"This is part of a softening of policy that has seen a 14% increase in long term unemployment since the election."

Ends

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