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Labour Must Look At Work For The Dole

Judith Collins MP National Party Family Spokeswoman

20 January 2004

Labour Must Look At Work For The Dole

National Party Family spokeswoman Judith Collins is appalled by the Government's startling admission that it has never properly investigated Australia's successful work for the dole scheme.

"When a respected poll finds that more than 90% of New Zealanders favour some form of community work for the dole, you'd think the Government might at least take a look," says Ms Collins.

In answers to Parliamentary questions the Government has admitted it has never researched Australia's Work for the Dole scheme, despite continually claiming a parallel scheme in New Zealand would 'fail'.

None of the more than 300 social policy analysts at the Ministry of Social Development has ever researched the programme across the Tasman or even talked to Australian officials.

"The Government is denying those drawing a benefit the opportunity to give something back to the community that they live in.

"International research shows that kids do better when their parents are working. It helps save the next generation from welfare dependency," she says.

"This has been an important social programme conducted by our closest neighbour - and the ministry has not even bothered to give the programme a cursory glance.

"It's irresponsible and demonstrates how it's ideology, not common sense, which is driving this Government's welfare agenda," says Ms Collins.

An independent study of the Australian scheme found 46 per cent of participants managed to get a job in the year following their work for the dole experience.

Ends

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