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Minister Of Spin At It Again

Minister Of Spin At It Again

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey's supposed clarification, of unemployment statistics I released yesterday, simply shows that the Government does not want to face facts, ACT New Zealand Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"In response to proof of Labour's failure to help New Zealand's long-term unemployed into jobs, the Minister's propaganda machine has switched into top gear," Dr Newman said.

"The Minister has said that `more than half of the beneficiaries included in the statistics have at some stage been on other non-work tested benefits, such as sickness benefit and the domestic purposes benefit'. This does not alter the fact that 6,166 New Zealanders have been out of work for more than a decade.

"Mr Maharey is trying to deny that, since he became minister in 1999, the number of people unemployed for more than 10 years has risen from 5,566 to 6,166. His smoke and mirrors methods of misdirection cannot hide Labour's failure to New Zealand's long-term unemployed.

"No matter what excuses the Minister makes, the fact remains that some New Zealand families have been benefit dependent since the late 1980s and early 1990s - at a time when research clearly indicates that long-term welfare dependency is damaging for individuals, families and, in particular, children.

"Reducing long-term benefit dependency should be the government's highest priority. These are people who will find it difficult to get jobs without expert help. The fact that these numbers have risen 10 percent is a benchmark of Labour's failure," said Dr Newman.

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