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Don ‘sugarbag’ Brash reveals secret agenda

29 January 2003 Media Statement

Don ‘sugarbag’ Brash reveals National’s secret agenda

Most New Zealanders will find National’s plan to abolish the unemployment benefit and reinstitute ‘work camps’ repugnant, says Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

Steve Maharey said while it was good to have National’s secret welfare agenda exposed, it is very disappointing to learn that a party which aspires to form a government has become so desperate for policy inspiration that it has reached back to the 1930s for ideas.

“Don Brash has well and truly let the cat out of bag with these revelations.

“New Zealanders found the ‘sugarbag’ approach to unemployment New Zealand experimented with in the 1930s repugnant – and they would again.

“Make work schemes are not the solution to upskilling the unemployed. Real jobs, paying real wages is still the best welfare policy. That is why we are working hard to remove the barriers inherent in our present welfare system which trap people on benefits – and why that work must continue despite unemployment remaining at historically low levels.

“Protestations by Katherine Rich aside, Don Brash’s comments reveal a real power struggle within National. Just who is the Opposition social services spokesperson?

“In 2002 National’s election platform was all about accelerating the failed policies that cost them government in 1999. With Don Brash now reviewing the party’s policies we can look forward to more of their ‘back to the future’ ideas,” Steve Maharey said.


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