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Another wheel falls off Labour's welfare agenda


Another wheel falls off Labour's welfare agenda

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Katherine Rich says the wheels are well and truly falling off the Government's welfare agenda.

She's responding to reports that aspects of the 'Jobs Joke' package are being held up because Labour failed to consult before announcing the programme.

Mrs Rich also says hard working New Zealanders will be angry to find out that the Government's still refusing to make sure more absent fathers pay something towards the upbringing of their child.

"The so-called Jobs Jolt package was only unveiled in August, the wheels have already fallen off.

"After four long years in Government, there was almost nothing new in the scheme as it was. Now predictably, we learn Steve Maharey doesn't have regional support.

"Mr Maharey should've been consulting the communities his ideas would hit hardest. "It's not surprising they're now angry," says Mrs Rich.

"If the Minister was listening, he'd also know there's mounting taxpayer anger about Labour's soft approach to the DPB. It's supposed to be a temporary safety net, but Labour's made it a trap that condemns many women to long-term welfare dependency.

She's commenting on his reported back down on sanctions to encourage women on the DPB to name the father of their child.

"His Government has already destroyed the work test incentive for those on the DPB, and figures show it's allowing more and more absent parents get away without paying any child support at all. It's estimated as many as half of the women on the DPB who haven't named the father of their child are protecting them from their financial obligations.

"With that many people beating the system, the system has to change," Mrs Rich says.

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