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Brash doles out depression

Brash doles out depression

Green MP Sue Bradford has dismissed Don Brash's call to scrap the dole as a return to depression-era servitude.

The Greens' employment spokesperson said Dr Brash's comments that the dole should be scrapped and unemployed people should line up at a post office each morning to beg for work are inspired by one of the darkest periods in New Zealand's history.

"What he is proposing will take us right back to the 1930s. He's calling for a fresh look at social welfare, but he's 70 years out of date," said Ms Bradford.

"Anyone who remembers the 1930s would not want to go back there.

"Dr Brash is right about one thing: there are 300,000 people out of work - but any connection between his world and reality stops right there.

"The solution to unemployment isn't cutting the dole, the solution is creating real jobs at real wages. Dr Brash only advocates misery and desperation with what he proposes.

"Dr Brash's vision of the future would lead us into third world conditions where the means of survival descends into a life of crime, prostitution and begging. Is this the life we want for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders?"

Ms Bradford says the comments raise questions about where the National Party is heading, after distancing itself from the "slash and burn" policies of Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley in the 1990s.

"I'm really worried about Dr Brash's stance, considering he is the policy co-ordinator for National. Are they going to be lead by hardliners like Dr Brash with Judith Collins and Act's Muriel Newman in his back pocket, or by the younger generation like Katherine Rich who at least understand that it is simply not acceptable to deprive hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders of an income?"

ENDS

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