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Culture of dependency exposed

Katherine Rich MP National Party Social Services Spokeswoman

28 June 2004

Culture of dependency exposed

National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich is welcoming research released today which shows New Zealand is spending more on welfare now than it did a decade ago at unemployment's peak.

"The numbers back up National's argument that Labour has been fostering a culture of dependence at a time when the economy's better than it has been for a generation, and when we're in the throes of a labour shortage," says Mrs Rich.

The Institute of Liberal Values says in 1993 New Zealand was spending $1.639 billion on the dole, by last year we were spending $1.634 billion on the DPB alone.

Others like the sickness, invalids' and special benefits have also seen explosive growth.

"No amount of Government spin can change the hard numbers. It makes grim reading," says Mrs Rich.

According to the figures, there has been an astounding 186% increase since 1993 in the unsupported child's or orphans benefit - which is paid to the caregiver of a child who's parents can't look after them.

"It really speaks volumes about the breakdown of the family in New Zealand.

"While the Government continues to ask itself patsy questions in the House in an attempt to crow about unemployment numbers, they are totally ignoring the true picture of welfare dependency," says Mrs Rich.

"They've simply shifted the burden elsewhere.

"Labour's recent Budget provides no relief, and in fact it's expected that the welfare bill will keep growing.

"All New Zealanders, both taxpayers and those on welfare, deserve far better than a continuation of policies that have proven to be a complete failure," says Mrs Rich.

ENDS

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