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Poverty grows despite Govt promises

Bob Simcock National Social Services Spokesperson

17 December 2001

Poverty grows despite Govt promises

After two years of a Labour-Alliance Government it is now clear that the poor are just getting poorer, and there is no excuse for it, National's Social Services spokesperson Bob Simcock said today.

"Because National grew the New Zealand economy, the Government inherited conditions that most incoming Governments would be rapt to find.=20

"The economy was growing very rapidly at 4% and rising and export receipts were the best they had been in decades due to strong international demand and a competitive dollar. As a result, demand for labour increased and more New Zealanders got a job. =20

"The Government inherited ideal conditions to tackle some of the poverty issues that Labour candidates promised they would address before the last election. This Government hasn't been serious about addressing poverty so we are seeing more very long-term unemployed and a higher demand for foodbanks.

"Under the Labour Government some major foodbanks in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have experienced alarming increases in demand and the number of people who have been unemployed for over five years has increased.

"In a time of increased opportunity Labour-Alliance policies have further entrenched the worst poverty," Mr Simcock said.

Ends

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