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Prebble Wrong

8 February 2002 Media Statement

Prebble wrong

Social Services and Employment Steve Maharey is encouraging Act MP Richard Prebble to read the Household Labour Force Survey, released this morning, after he issued a press release late this afternoon incorrectly claiming that the number of long-term unemployed have increased.

“A quick read of Statistics New Zealand’s Household Labour Force Survey, the official measure of unemployment, would have corrected Richard’s mistake.

“In fact the survey, released just this morning, shows that the number of long-term unemployed has dropped 5,600 in the year to December 2001. Furthermore the number of long-term unemployed have dropped in every category:
- Over 26 weeks, but not over 1 year – down 2,900
- Over 1 year, but not over 2 years – down 1,700
- Over 2 years – down 900.

“I’m staggered that the Act party is not prepared to consider policies that will help beneficiaries get off the benefit and into work. This government is about real jobs and real wages whereas the Act party seems to have no ideas at all about how to get people back to work.

“Finally he trots out the old line that the work-for-the-dole scheme reduced unemployment. In fact independent evaluations of the scheme showed that it instead trapped them on the benefit and stopped them getting real work.

“Three claims – and no substance in any of them,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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