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Long Term Unemployed A Record Under Labour

The Labour-led government has presided over a 20 percent increase in long term unemployment since the election - contrary to its promises to stimulate employment.

Figures issued by Labour in response to a Parliamentary question from ACT Employment Spokesman Muriel Newman show that between November and August the number of New Zealanders out of work for more than a year rose to a record 106,831 compared with 88,876.

When launching the Ministry of Economic Development “jobs machine” in April, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said the long term goal was the creation of about 100 successful projects, creating about 1000 jobs each. "At that point you're talking 100,000 new jobs and that 100,000 new jobs would spin off in downstream effects to at least another 30,000, 40,000 or 50,000”, Mr Anderton promised.

“What the unemployment figures show is that in spite of the rhetoric, the current government's policies are the wrong ones and record numbers of New Zealanders are suffering for it and being deprived of the opportunity to better themselves,” Dr Newman said.

“The ACT Party is committed to policies which will create jobs by stimulating growth in the economy. The Labour-led government with its attempts to regulate and tell businesses and individuals what they should be doing is achieving exactly the opposite.

“These kinds of numbers of long term unemployed are a serious social issue and indicate that the Minister of Social Services is either deliberately, or through inadequate stewardship, not focusing on correcting this worsening problem.

“A sensible mix of policies which stimulate growth and stop encouraging our brightest people and job creators to leave the country is required to reverse this tragic trend,'' Dr Newman said.

END

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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