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National to target truancy in welfare paper

National to target truancy in welfare paper

Under a National Government, welfare dependent parents could face sanctions unless they make sure their children turn up to school.

That's one of the issues to be covered in a National Party Welfare discussion paper due for public release this week.

National Party Leader Bill English gave delegates attending the Party's Central North Island Regional Conference in Hamilton a few details from the document today. (Sunday)

"The National Party sees education as one of the best tickets out of poverty," Mr English says.

"A number of countries have concluded that it makes sense to consider linking school attendance to welfare eligibility for parents.

"In Canada, for instance, a child must attend school in order to be included in the calculation as a dependent child," he says.

"It is the job of the education system to tackle truancy, but the welfare system's potential role should not be overlooked.

"Sanctions could be applied if parents do not co-operate with efforts to deal with their child's truancy.

"We believe every person has potential and no one is hopeless, while Labour believes that handouts are a signal that they care. "National will bring in work for the dole and bring back work testing.

"Welfare must be seen as a second chance, not a way of life," Mr English says.

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