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Delay in axing Work for Dole angers Greens

17 July 2000

Delay in axing Work for Dole angers Greens

The Green Party is angry that seven months into the new government, the Work for the Dole scheme is being allowed to run for another full year.

Green Party Social Services Spokesperson Sue Bradford today said she was angry that following the election of the Labour/Alliance Government which repeatedly promised to axe Work for the Dole, the scheme was going to run for another year and a half.

"A number of community and beneficiary advocate groups remember Labour's Steve Maharey running around the country prior to the election with a major campaign against compulsory workfare," said Ms Bradford.

"As a result both these groups and the Green Party had expected the scheme to be axed immediately and we cannot understand why it has not been. Mr Maharey knows the scheme does not work, he says it does not work yet he is prepared to allow it to continue for half a parliamentary term."

Ms Bradford said if the Government was prepared to delay changes on an issue as important as Work for the Dole she held concerns about other the reform of other measures which punished the unemployed, such as the 13 week stand-down period before a worker can qualify for a benefit.

"It is ironic that while momentum on the ERB gathers in an effort to make things fairer for workers the draconian and punitive measures of the National Government are allowed to continue to the considerable detriment of beneficiaries."

Ms Bradford said her private members bill which would scrap Work for the Dole remained in the ballot.

"The many people who voted for Labour, and more particularly the Alliance, over their promise to axe this scheme will be disappointed at the sluggish delivery once in power," said Ms Bradford.

Ends

Sue Bradford MP: 04 470 6720, 025 243 4239 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133

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