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Govt Tries to Hide Truth on Welfare Time Limits

Govt Tries to Hide Truth on Welfare Time Limits

Tuesday 16 Oct 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT Social Services Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today that the Government appeared to be going to extraordinary lengths to stop the people of New Zealand hearing about the advantages of applying time limits on welfare benefits.

"Social Services Minister Steve Maharey set himself up an opportunity during question time in Parliament today to criticise my championing of benefit time limits. He raised the comments of one United States welfare group to support his theory that time limits don't work.

"I cited three articles - and I can locate many more - which show that the US' move to time limits has been a huge success in encouraging beneficiaries to re-integrate back into the workforce and escape the benefit trap.

"But the Government doesn't want New Zealanders to see this real evidence. I was refused leave of the House by the Government to table the articles I had. When ACT Leader Richard Prebble again sought leave of the House - after Mr Maharey had tabled his one article - the Government again rejected it.

"Mr Maharey's continual mantra is the creation of 'real jobs' - yet he hasn't a clue how to achieve that. His self-professed 'flagship' Community Employment Organisations programme created in its first year just 54 Government subsidised jobs -when he had expected to create 1000.

"The fact is, with 400,000 adults dependent on welfare, and one in three children living in benefit led families, we need to do better. A parliamentary question I received the other day showed that taxpayers have spent well over $350 million on 844 women who have chosen to remain on the DPB for over 20 years.

"We urgently need to bring in time-limits on welfare and require all beneficiaries who can work to engage in a full time programme of activity leading them to a job. Let's support them with child care if they need it, but let's break that cycle of dependency and get the country working.

"By not letting those stuck in the welfare trap and other New Zealanders know that there is a better way, Mr Maharey and his Government are doing the country a disservice," Dr Newman said.

COPIES OF ARTICLES SHOWING THE SUCCESS OF TIME LIMITS ARE AVAILABLE


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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