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National starts year with a whimper

20 January 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

National starts year with a whimper

National's chances of ever leading a coalition government under MMP again look bleak if their press statements so far in the New Year are a sign of their likely performance this year, Progressive MP Matt Robson says.

"New Zealand's record on job creation over the past four years of progressive government leaves other developed countries, including Australia, for dead.

"Our unemployment rate is at nearly 20-year lows and well below Australia's. Yet, National's opening shots for the political year that starts with Cabinet's first meeting is to call for New Zealand to adopt a failed Australian scheme!

"So-called work-for-the-dole schemes are public relations scams designed for conservative governments that couldn't care less about ensuring all young people are either in work, training or education," Matt Robson said.

"The Labour Progressive government, in contrast, is committed to getting every young person in work, training or education which involves a substantial investment in the future wellbeing of society - an investment that couldn't be afforded by a National government determined to hand out huge tax cuts to the already wealthy," Matt Robson said.

New Zealand's latest unemployment rate is 4.4% (www.stats.govt.nz), Australia's is 5.6%. (www.abs.gov.au)

ENDS

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