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Maharey Unemployment Claims Nonsense - Newman

Tuesday 19th Dec 2000

Social Welfare spending is expected to increase $1.5 billion during Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey’s term of office, yet he still insists on misrepresenting the WINZ Employment register, said ACT Employment Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman.

The Government's December Economic & Fiscal Update released today shows Treasury is forecasting that spending, and numbers on the unemployment benefit, will rise every year until 2005.

“Steve Maharey is attempting to spin-doctor success out of failure. He is claiming credit for more WINZ work placements when in reality all he has done is change the computer program.

“WINZ is now claiming credit for hundreds of job seekers who find employment within 6 weeks of doing a WINZ activity. Thousands more unemployed find their own jobs every year than WINZ places, but under Mr Maharey many of these self placements are now claimed by WINZ.

“So the placement statistics look good, but they mean very little. Around 50% of the unemployed are now out of work a year, the worst in our history

“This is a Minister who does not understand his portfolio.

“I predict three clear outcomes from Mr Maharey’s incompetence.

* He will claim huge increases in the number of long term registered unemployed placed into stable employment, even though half of them re-register.

* Christine Rankin will gain a new contract based partly on the basis of this “success.”

* And the registered long term unemployed over 1 year, the people WINZ was set up to help, will have gone up by around twenty thousand.

“These will be Mr Maharey’s achievements,” said Muriel Newman.

ENDS.




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