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Turner: 'Jobs jolt' step in right direction

Turner: 'Jobs jolt' step in right direction

United Future is giving cautious support to the "jobs jolt" package, commending the Government for moving to a firmer stance on the unemployment benefit, the party's social services spokeswoman, Judy Turner, said today.

"We've been pushing this general direction for some time now, and it is good to see the Government take some positive steps," Mrs Turner said.

While supporting the move to work-testing of those aged 55-59, United Future would want to see this done with case managers taking into account the needs of the age group, she said.

"It's got to be real. We're not going to have them digging ditches and the like," she said. "And too often with bureaucracy we've had that kind of foolishness in the past."

United Future also commended the regional focus in terms of people moving to where work is available - something that the party has long advocated: "But the Government should go further and look at increasing assistance for those who already live in areas where work is hard to come by, to move to regions with labour shortages."

Further consideration also needs to given to the impact these moves will have on families, Mrs Turner said.

"The Government shouldn't wait until the Families Commission comes into being next year to run the test of family needs and interests over its policies," she said.

Speaking in Parliament today, Mrs Turner again raised the issue of the flow of people from the unemployment benefit to the sickness benefit, suggesting that Winz case workers make looking at this a greater priority.

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