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Government's First Legislation is Shameful

Government's First Legislation is Shameful

Thursday 5 Sep 2002 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

The Government has chosen a flawed piece of anti-family legislation as the first bill on their agenda, signalling that the next three years will see further deliberate disintegration of the family unit, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"It is a sad and shameful indictment on the Government and any other supporting party that the 'Working Towards Employment' Bill is the piece of legislation chosen to start the parliamentary agenda after the Address in Reply debate.

"This legislation relieves sole parents on the DPB of the obligation to look for a job when their children are over six-years-old. It abolishes the work test, which will lead to fewer beneficiaries getting jobs, their staying longer on benefits, and higher costs for taxpayers.

"It will increase the number of mothers who raise children on welfare. It will prevent them from getting out of the welfare trap and back into a life where they can achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

"Research proves families do matter - two parents committed to their children are better than one parent. Research proves that welfare is bad for children. As politically incorrect as it is to admit it, all the evidence shows that children raised on welfare are more likely to be the victims of child abuse, more likely to suffer poor health, drop out of school, get involved in crime, teenage sex, and commit suicide.

"The Treasury recommended strongly against this legislation, citing similar flawed legislation in the United States from the 1960's.

"The Minister has ignored all of the advice, and caved in to the beneficiaries' unions. This legislation will put back every advance we have made getting solo parents into paid work," Dr Newman said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz. high

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