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Maharey accuses National and Act of rank hypocrisy

1 May 2001 Media Statement

Maharey accuses National and Act of 'rank hypocrisy'

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today accused the National Opposition of "rank hypocrisy" in their attacks on the Government over eligibility for the Community Services Card.

"When the National Party was in Government the Community Services Card threshold was never adjusted to reflect CPI adjustments to benefits.

"The Labour Alliance Government's 2000 general increase was the first time that the threshold had ever moved along with CPI benefit changes.

"I am today releasing a fact sheet which sets out the background to the recent decision by the Government to ensure that recipients of New Zealand Superannuation would not lose their entitlement to the Community Services Card as a consequence of the increase in NZS rates on 1 April 2001.

"The Government has not made any change to the Community Services Card thresholds.

"Nor have we made any policy decisions which mean that working people will be treated differently to beneficiaries with respect to Community Services Card eligibility.

"I have sufficient confidence in the ability of New Zealanders to know that Opposition MPs now criticising the Government are the very same people who:
- oppose increases in the minimum wage;
- oppose income related rents for state house tenants;
- oppose any increase in social assistance;
- oppose fairer industrial relations rules;
and who favour tax breaks for the rich," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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