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DEFU Shows Welfare Spiralling Out of Control

DEFU Shows Welfare Spiralling Out of Control

The December Economic and Fiscal Update shows Labour Government welfare spending is roaring ahead despite unemployment actually being down, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

“Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey loosened the criteria for accessing benefits and created the conditions for soaring costs to the taxpayer. Total annual welfare spending – excluding pensions – is up $400 million from three years ago, despite unemployment dropping by one percent.

“Today’s fiscal update shows a dramatic increase in forecast beneficiary numbers – there will be 29,000 new beneficiaries over the next four years.

“And special benefit spending is now forecast to be double this year what it was in 1999/2000. It will increase by 370 percent to $165 million by 2006.

“The depressing figures in today’s fiscal update provide yet more evidence that the Government’s heavy handed approach adds to the welfare juggernaut, ensnaring more and more people into ongoing dependence on the state and increasing the already considerable burden on New Zealand taxpayers,” Dr Newman said.

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