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Merger Will Downgrade Social Policy

National's Social Services spokesperson Bob Simcock today said merging the Social Policy Ministry with the Department of Work and Income would effectively downgrade the status of social policy.

"Placing a policy unit to look after all aspects of social policy into the realm of a welfare delivery agency makes absolutely no sense. It will result in worse advice not better."

He said the controversial super ministry, which came into effect today, was created out of nothing more than political expediency.

"It was simply an expensive and ill thought out Government ploy to get rid of former WINZ head Christine Rankin. There were no policy papers advising of this. In fact quite the opposite has been recommended in recent times.

"Departmental advice to the incoming Minister after the last election made it plain that the Government's advisors did not support any further restructuring in the sector.

"Last year's Hunn Review on the Department of Work and Income advised against further restructuring of that department. What's more, Judge Mick Brown's review of the Child Youth and Family Service blamed repeated restructuring for much of the difficulties that department faces.

"Yet again this is another example of this Government's 'we know best' approach. The merger certainly has no basis or logic," Bob Simcock said.

Ends


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