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Minister Deluded On Grants Scheme

Minister Deluded On Grants Scheme

Friday 2 Jul 2004 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today demanded that the Government stop making excuses and admit that the Social Entrepreneur Scheme was a failure - so much so that it was too embarrassed to do its own dirty work and left it to the Labour Department to announce the programme's termination.

"This scheme was a mistake from the beginning - a fundamentally flawed Labour Party election promise that has cost millions of taxpayers' dollars," Dr Newman said.

"The Social Entrepreneur Scheme - which gave millions in taxpayers' money to dubious projects like the infamous `hip hop' study - highlights Labour's naivety of what drives business. In a press statement announcing the commencement of this initiative, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said that a social entrepreneur:

`takes the same approach to risk, opportunity and innovation as a business entrepreneur, but in pursuit of social rather than commercial objectives.'

"Yet business entrepreneurs take the risk themselves. They are driven to succeed because, often, their entire future financial viability is at stake. As a result, they are driven to succeed. Social entrepreneurs on the other hand, under Labour's scheme, are given taxpayer-funded grants and have no such incentive to succeed.

"That Labour can't see this shows why it is not business-friendly and has failed to deliver on its promises to make business in New Zealand easier. Instead, it has created obstacles for those trying to achieve.

"Since small business creates the jobs, wealth and growth that drive our economy, Labour should be supportive. Instead, it pours taxpayers' money into politically correct hare-brained schemes like hip hop study and tries to claim it is doing its bit for the economy.

"The Social Entrepreneur Scheme was doomed to fail. And, as it was a Labour Party scheme - not one generated by officials' advice - the blame falls squarely on the Minister and the Government. The Minister should have taken responsibility for announcing the termination of this scheme, rather than hiding behind the Labour Department," Dr Newman said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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