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Labour Pushes Vulnerable Into Welfare Trap

Labour Pushes Vulnerable Into Welfare Trap

Friday 6 Sep 2002

The Labour Government has failed to help the most vulnerable members of society - mothers and their children - to escape the trap of welfare dependency, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Answers from my parliamentary questions reveal that 109,233 New Zealanders receive the domestic purposes benefit - almost the exact same number as last year. It shows that welfare dependency has become completely entrenched at an unacceptably high level among sole parents and their children.

"At a time when the Government's own research is classifying the domestic purposes benefit as a risk factor to children, legislation which will increase dependency on the DPB is being debated in parliament.

"The Social Security (Working Towards Employment) Amendment Bill essentially removes work testing of the DPB. That means thousands more people will be encouraged by Labour to depend entirely on taxpayers.

"New statistics from the United States show that welfare rolls fell 5.6 percent in 2001. Much of that success is attributed to stronger work test requirements.

"While our Government is busy removing the work test on benefits, the rest of the world is strengthening theirs.

"ACT believes it is not morally responsible to support the softening of the DPB when it will undermine marriage and the family, and damage children. That is why we support a tough love approach which would provide child care support at the same time as strengthening work test requirements to give sole parents a hand up to a good job, more money and a better life," Dr Newman said.


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