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Baby thrown out with bath water in CEG axing

Baby thrown out with bath water in CEG axing

National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich says, “the Government is throwing the baby out with the bath water” in relation to its decision today to axe the Community Employment Group.

“After making a huge song and dance about moving CEG from the Ministry of Social Development back to the Department of Labour, Steve Maharey’s now going to spend a small fortune shifting it back again.

“Essentially he’s admitted the whole exercise has been an abject and costly failure.

“The move to disestablish CEG is a blatantly transparent attempt to shut down the political fall-out from the Government’s appalling track record in this area.

“I believe the rules could have been strengthened without killing off CEG.

“National’s concern has always been on the poor project selection and abysmal monitoring. We’ve been surprised by the absence of proper checks and balances, and appalled by the lack of accountability.

“But in my view CEG is not an isolated case.

“As long as Labour spends vast amounts on pet projects through slush funds administered by Te Puni Kokiri, Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Social Development, taxpayer money will continue to be at risk.

“Across the board there is a lack of Ministerial accountability and oversight.

“Today, Steve Maharey has taken the easy option of shooting the messenger by blaming his officials instead of accepting some personal responsibility.

“On that score, National is deeply disappointed - not just on behalf of the affected CEG staff, but also on behalf of all taxpaying New Zealanders,” says Mrs Rich.

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