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Newman on Brash speech

Newman on Brash speech

Wednesday 26 Jan 2005 Dr Muriel Newman - Press Releases - Social Welfare

ACT Deputy Leader and Social Welfare spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today labelled Don Brash's Orewa speech on welfare reform as a step in the right direction, but said more needed to be done to lift the aspirations of those dependent on welfare.

"In addition to what National is promoting, ACT believes in putting in significant time and resource into getting beneficiaries back on their feet. If people who are fit to work that are finding it difficult to secure a job are to successfully get off welfare and into employment they'll need professional support and pro-active case management as they search and are placed into work," Dr Newman said.

"Tightening up on welfare will eliminate much of the fraud and abuse. But if we want people to be truly independent from the State we need programmes to equip people with better habits, skills, networks, and confidence. Building mum, dad and families - caught in the trap of long-term welfare dependency - a work ethic is a great legacy to leave any child.

Dr Newman outlined her five-point plan to reform New Zealand's welfare system in a speech delivered in Whangarei last week. The key features were:

- Introduction of a single benefit

- Annual benefit re-application process

-Time limited work-search period

-Pro-active case management

-Full-time work-placement programme

"ACT is committed to a welfare system that sends a strong message that assistance is available to those unable to work, or between jobs. But for those who are able bodied, welfare must provide a path into work, independence and a better future. Under ACT, taxpayers' money will not be used to provide for those who wish to spend the next 10, 20, even 30 years, sitting at home doing nothing.

"Welfare reform is crucial if New Zealand is to move forward as a nation. New Zealanders wanting to see an end to welfare dependency should give their party vote to ACT this upcoming election," Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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