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Work and Income hit by staff exodus

Work and Income hit by staff exodus

National Party Employment spokeswoman Katherine Rich says the Government needs to be asking why Work and Income staff are leaving in droves.

"The exodus from Work and Income has slowed only marginally in the past year. About half are leaving for better jobs or because they're dissatisfied with their present position.

"They're being forced to deal with heavier and heavier workloads, it's not surprising they're getting fed up," Mrs Rich says.

Figures show 1194 staff have resigned from the Ministry of Social Development in the past two years, 623 in the 2002 financial year and 571 last year.

"Most worryingly they included nearly 500 Work and Income case managers.

"For instance, while the Domestic Purposes Benefit case load is coming down, some case managers I have spoken with still have anywhere between 300 and 400 clients when you include spouses.

"The infrastructure that supports the Labour Government's ideologically driven welfare agenda is creaking under the strain," says Mrs Rich.

"We already know that Work and Income staff spend 70% of their time making sure people are getting the correct entitlements and only 30% of their time finding work for the unemployed.

"Their case loads would be far easier to manage if the Government focussed more time getting beneficiaries into jobs and off welfare," Mrs Rich says.

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