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Employment figs. good news - but let's build on it

Employment figures good news - but let's build on it

Friday 11 Feb 2005 Rodney Hide Press Releases -- Social Welfare

ACT Leader Rodney Hide said today that the employment figures were good news and should be built on to provide New Zealand with a more prosperous future.

"The reason for the turnaround is past reforms. As the Government's Budget Policy acknowledges:

"New Zealand's recent growth performance can be attributed to past structural reforms that began in the mid-1980s, which have resulted in a trend increase in New Zealand's growth rate since the early 1990s."

"We have the best chance now for genuine welfare reform. Employers are screaming out for labour and yet we still have over 355,000 working age New Zealanders trapped on a benefit. We can't crow about low unemployment when there's one working age person stuck dependent on state support for every four in the full-time workforce.

"The surpluses should be used to reduce the tax burden on business and households and the buoyant labour market should be used to halve our welfare roll. We can't afford to leave 355,000 behind trapped dependent on the state. The opportunity is there - but it's clear Helen Clark won't grab it," Mr Hide said.

ENDS

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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