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DPB lifestyle for some lasts decades

DPB lifestyle for some lasts decades

Wednesday 12 Jan 2005

Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Social Welfare

Labour's `soft on welfare' policies are nowhere more evident than the huge increase in the number of people on the DPB who have been on that or other benefits for over 30 years, ACT New Zealand Social Services spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Answers to my Parliamentary questions show that there are now 50 people who have been on the DPB or other benefits for over 30 years compared with only 13 when Labour was elected. That is a staggering 284% increase," said Dr Newman.

"When the DPB was introduced three decades ago it was meant to provide temporary assistance to separated mothers with children. These days, however, changes made by the Labour Government - which include removing work testing, scrapping the stand-down period, introducing a four-week paid overseas holiday provision, and extending the age of entitlement to 18 years - have sent a clear signal that the DPB is now available as a way of life. That is a blatant abuse of the welfare system.

"As a result, the number of people who have been on the benefit for over 25 years has jumped from 120 to 352.

"Labour's message to women is `play your cards right and the DPB will support you until you retire'.

"It is totally wrong that the Government is encouraging women to stay on welfare for their whole lives. Not only does long-term welfare prevent them from achieving their potential, but it also causes serious damage to their children.

"Further, taxpayers should not be forced to pay a lifestyle benefit to people who could and should be working.

"No amount of weasel words from this government can hide the fact that its soft on welfare approach is an abuse of the welfare system. Labour is escalating the number of women wasting their whole lives on the DPB," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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