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Benefit Rise Costs Workers $300 Million More

Benefit Rise Costs Workers $300 Million More

The Government's announcement today, that all benefits will be increased by 2.72 percent, means working New Zealanders will have to fork out an extra $300 million this year to add to an annual $14 billion welfare bill, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"This latest pay rise for beneficiaries is a blatant slap in the face for hardworking New Zealanders who are, on average, 2.4 percent worse off after three years of Labour government" Dr Newman said.

"It is no surprise that Labour has targeted beneficiaries, insulating them from the effects of higher inflation, while ignoring the plight of ordinary working New Zealanders.

"Labour is totally indebted to the hundreds of thousands of voters on benefits who returned them to power. To fund this largesse, Labour is treating ordinary working taxpayers as cash cows - milking them of their money and spreading it around their favoured groups.

"We now have the ridiculous situation where the gap between benefit incomes and working net incomes is narrowing, lessening incentives for people to move from benefits into paid work.

"This is why we are now seeing firms struggling to find staff, at a time when almost 400,000 working age adults are on taxpayer-funded benefits.

"The Government must urgently implement tax cuts for ordinary, hardworking New Zealanders - before this situation spirals out of control," Dr Newman said.

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