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Brash has his head in the 1930s depression

DATE 2003

Matt Robson MP, Deputy Leader, Progressives

Brash has his head in the 1930s depression

Deputy Leader of the Progressives, Matt Robson MP is astounded at Don Brash's outdated comments on getting rid of the unemployment benefit, in his speech to Orewa Rotary. Matt Robson says the result would be an in increase poverty in New Zealand.

"Getting rid of the unemployment benefit is promoting more poverty and that's simply crazy. Governments must take responsibility for the care of all citizens. This idea would increase poverty and that's something that must be eliminated, not encouraged.

"It is both a commitment to training and employment which will assist those without employment, not depression-type 'filling in hole' programs supported by Brash.

"Brash has spent too much time cloistered away from the real world. People on the unemployment benefit are people with families and they are people who contribute to the community. His suggestion would mean more children living in poverty, something I find totally unacceptable.

"Progressives believe alleviation of poverty is a top priority for this government and we are working hard to ensure that we take effective action on poverty on a continuing basis.

"Brash doesn't mention the one in three children living in poverty in our country in his speech, in fact he doesn't mention the word 'poverty' at all. He talks about living standards being higher in Australia and forgets to mention that Australia is doing better because it did not carry out the extreme reforms that New Zealand carried out in the 1980s and 1990s.

"The United Nations (UNICEF) report on the effect of the reforms of the 1980s and 1990s on children in New Zealand which Brash supports concluded that 'relying on the social and economic reforms alone to improve the situation of children has been a major failing of the reform process'.

"Brash needs to take some lessons from history and give up his fundamentalist new right economic religion if he really wants to improve the living standards of all New Zealanders," said Matt Robson.


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