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Labour Makes Welfare More Enticing

Labour Makes Welfare More Enticing

Thursday 13 May 2004

The announcement that the Labour Government intends to lift the incomes of welfare families in the upcoming Budget is worrying news, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The welfare system has already become a dangerous trap for far too many families and children:

· The total number of Maori dependent on welfare is now greater than when Labour became Government - despite billions of dollars being spent on special Maori initiatives

· Around half of all Maori children throughout New Zealand are now living in families dependent on welfare

· At least 50,000 able-bodied women on welfare have children of school age

· There has been an explosion of 30,000 more people who claim they are unable to work due to sickness of disability since Labour took office

· If a young woman with a baby chooses not to name the father of her child, but lives on the DPB with him as the `boarder' - as more and more are now doing - that couple would be 49 percent better off than if they married

· Some beneficiaries have incomes of more than $50,000 a year

"If Labour really cared about helping the poor and disadvantaged, it would introduce real welfare reform - instead of incentives that keep people locked into a system that ruins lives and damages children," Dr Newman said.

ENDS


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