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Greens wish Govt would ditch work-testing for DPB

6 November 2001

Greens wish Govt would ditch work-testing for DPB

Green Party Social Services Spokesperson Sue Bradford today said she could see no reason why the Government could not scrap work testing for the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) immediately.

Ms Bradford said while she supported much of what the Government was trying to do with reform of the DPB, the spirit of the old National Government in trying to get solo parents back into work was still very much alive.

"The Greens say that rather than continuing to harrass single parents of young children into returning to the workforce before they are necessarily ready, we should try and do more to help the 200,000 New Zealanders who are unemployed, and who don't have children, into work," she said.

"I am concerned that there is still an attitude within this Government which does not equate being a solo parent - and properly raising his or her children - with being a meaningful job in itself," said Ms Bradford.

"We welcome moves to remove the punitive work-testing for solo parents on the DPB, but under the new proposals there is still real pressure and expectation on these parents to get back into the work force.

"We wish the Government would introduce legislation to remove all work testing for the DPB immediately. Work testing for solo parents with young children is a cruel and punitive hangover from the National Government that no decent society needs," she said.

"Alongise any proposed reforms to the DPB there simply has to be a change to the culture of the Department of Work and Income so that solo parents aren't blamed and harrassed for their situation but genuinely helped when they need it."

ENDS

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