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Long Term Unemployed Numbers Exploding

Long Term Unemployed Numbers Exploding

Thursday 5th Apr 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Other

New figures released in response to ACT parliamentary questions show that for the first time ever over half of the registered unemployed have been out of work for more than a year, ACT Employment Spokesman Muriel Newman said today.

“There are now 105,894 people who have been out of work for more than a year, compared with 88,876 when this Government came to power. This compares with the total registered unemployed of 209,636.

“What this tells me is that the coalition Government – which says it is all about equity and equality – is actually creating a large underclass of people trapped in a cycle of welfare dependency.

“This has to be very bad for this country and can only lead to greater social problems.

“True to type, Employment Minister Maharey totally ignored those 105,894 people in a press statement he issued on the matter today. No, he focused on the reduction in the overall numbers out of work since his Government came into office. But even this reduction was not achieved without smoke and mirrors – since about 15,000 of the drop was due to a one-off technical adjustment made three months ago.

“In addition Labour, with The Flagship Policy Formerly Known As Closing The Gaps, has managed to preside over a 22 percent increase in the number of Pacific Island job seekers out of work for over five years.

“Mr Maharey has turned his back on those snared in the welfare trap – as his recent axing of the successful work for dole scheme clearly showed.

“What we have got to do is focus efforts on those people who have been out of work the longest – they are the ones who have the greatest difficulty in finding a job on their own. They need our help and support.

“Judging by the track record of this Minister For Long Term Unemployment, the likelihood of such an approach seems remote,” Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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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