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Worse day, Katherine?

Worse day, Katherine?

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey is welcoming news that Katherine Rich is still the National Party’s spokesperson on welfare.

In recent days Katherine Rich had to put up with being eclipsed by fellow MPs Don Brash, Maurice Williamson, and Bill English as the party fights over how right-wing it should become. But tonight after a period of sustained silence she has finally issued a media statement of her own.

“Katherine Rich is now back in print but I wonder if what she is saying is really National’s policy.

“It’s good to see she has already backed off compulsory immunisation of children in return for benefits, but I would note the ’voluntary’ immunisation plan she is now promoting was trumpeted by Jenny Shipley in her Code of Social and Family Responsibility before being dumped because it was unworkable.

“It is, however, sad to see that Ms Rich failed to read my comments about teen mothers. I pointed out that National characterises women on the DPB as teenage mothers, when in fact people under 20 years old make up only 3% of DPB recipients.

“One the hand, it’s good to see Ms Rich ruling out further benefit cuts, although I wonder if she has told Bill English because he was advocating for them in his welfare speech last night. Then again why bother because Maurice Williamson doesn’t feel the need to talk to Bill English, by his own admission, so why should Katherine Rich.

“Finally, I note her tired advocacy for work-for-the-dole. She must know that even the evaluation Roger Sowry commissioned showed it didn’t work. How sad it must be for Katherine Rich trying to keep up with her colleagues”, Steve Maharey said.

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