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Maharey Says 'No-Go' To The Real Answers

Maharey Says 'No-Go' To The Real Answers

ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today accused the Government of unsettling communities throughout the country, with its secrecy over the `No-Go' zones for the Jobs Jolt package.

"These delays not only fuel speculation, but they are also highlighting the poor management practice which is now dogging this scheme," Dr Newman said.

"Labour announced the Jobs Jolt package in August. Five months is long enough to determine which areas will be classified as No Go zones. The Minister should come clean and make his announcement now, rather than keeping communities on tenterhooks.

"When Mr Maharey delivered Jobs Jolt, he promised to address serious unemployment. But, as he announces more details, it has become apparent that it will do little to address entrenched, long-term, inter-generational benefit dependency - one of the biggest problems facing New Zealand today.

"Not only must beneficiaries be discouraged from moving to low-employment rural areas, but able-bodied beneficiaries already living there must be encouraged to leave. Without the pressure to leave to find work, beneficiary families are staying in these areas. Many children raised on a benefit, with no incentive to move, will follow in their parents' footsteps.

"Such children have little hope of a decent future, yet the Minister refuses to use Jobs Jolt to break the dependency cycle - `the initiative is not designed to require clients who currently live in low job opportunities localities to relocate to areas with better employment prospects'.

"This is a complete and utter cop-out. The Minister does not have the courage to use Jobs Jolt to address welfare's toughest problem - that of long-term beneficiaries living in areas where there is no chance of employment.

"If he refuses to address this issue - the most destructive for families and taxpayers - then he is a weak Minister and not up to the job," Dr Newman said.

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