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Labour Sanctions Long-Term Unemployment

Labour Sanctions Long-Term Unemployment

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today released new figures showing more than 6,000 people had been on the unemployment benefit since 1992, and accused the Government of failing the country's long-term unemployed.

"Since Labour has been in power, the number of people who have been unemployed for more than 10 years has grown more than 10 percent - from 5,566 to more than 6,000.

"The fact that 6,166 people have been out of work for more than 10 years - despite the country experiencing some of the best economic conditions it has known in decades - is a real indictment of the Government, and indicates gross failure of its welfare policies.

"It is appalling that families can be left on benefits for such long periods of time, especially when the Government knows that long-term welfare dependency damages children.

"ACT is calling for time limits on benefits. Living on a benefit can be very difficult but, while most families can cope for a short time, it is very damaging in the long-term.

"These people, who have been out of work for so long, are very high-need cases. They should be given absolute priority by the Department of Work and Income to get them into jobs. The growth in the number of people who have been out of work since the early 1990s is a benchmark of Labour's failure," Dr Newman said.

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