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Single Benefit Will Cloud Statistics

22 February 2005

Single Benefit Will Cloud Statistics

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s move to a single core benefit with one set of rates and eligibility criteria could cloud beneficiary statistics and hide the real facts about unemployment levels and illegitimate claimants.

“A single set of eligibility criteria will allow the Government to skew the facts surrounding the number of new beneficiaries, and whether or not they are long-term unemployed or a change in classification.

“This in turn could pave the way for people to seek the easy way to claim a benefit when they are able to work.

“How will we know if the introduction of a single set of rates and eligibility criteria has been an effective way to move people from welfare dependency into work when we can’t classify the claimants and break down the statistics?

“This new benefit system can only be described as a concept without logic. Without clear definitions and criteria we will be left with approximations and confusion over real unemployment levels and increases in claims for certain types of benefits.

“The new system is like a David Lynch movie that nobody really understands, but pretends to,” concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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