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Maharey's Flagship Strategy Must Go

Maharey's Flagship Strategy Must Go

Monday, October 8 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Employment

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey's admission that the future of his flagship employment policy is in question is completely unprecedented, ACT Employment Spokesman MP Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The Community Employment program was to be Mr Maharey's great job-creation machine. Yet after spending an entire year and $1.5 million of taxpayer money, Mr Maharey has only created 54 jobs against his own target of 1,000.

"Mr Maharey's funding has been slashed by half and his job projections are in tatters.

"This policy is heading the same way as 'Closing the Gaps'.

"Mr Maharey is out of touch with the real world of work and business. Under his stewardship, the number of people registered unemployed for more than two years has grown from 44,000 to over 54,000.

"The Minister's statement that 'in Southland we don't have unemployment' will be news to the 4,000 jobseekers in that area."

Dr Newman said she was not surprised Mr Maharey had refused to release individual details of his contracted organisation's complete failure to create "real" jobs.

"Mr Maharey knows the collapse of his academically-conceived flagship strategy is looming, and is likely to be his greatest embarrassment.

"Viable businesses create jobs, not programmes and subsidies. The wasted $1.5 million should not be followed with another $35 million over the next two years. It's time to call an end to this poorly conceived intellectual concept that doesn't work in real life.

"Mr Maharey must bite the bullet, admit his academic theory doesn't work, and put his responsibilities ahead of his own image," concluded Dr Newman.


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