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$21m advertising spend completely unnecessary

Working for Families $21m advertising spend completely unnecessary

ACT Leader Rodney Hide today confirmed what had long been suspected: The $21million advertising budget for the Working for Families package is straight Labour Party propaganda.

In reply to a parliamentary question* Welfare Minister Steve Maharey stated "any increase for people already in receipt of assistance will be paid automatically." They don't need to apply.

"His reply totally undermines the justification for the $21 million advertising spend-up. Prime Minister Helen Clark defended the election-year media blitz on the grounds that people would have to apply for the extra benefit. They don't. Their adjustments will be automatic, as Steve Maharey's answer makes plain.

"The Labour Party claims up to 300,000 families will benefit from the Working for Families package. 150,000 of the families are beneficiaries. 100,000 are working families already in receipt of assistance. Their adjustments will all be done automatically. They don't need to apply.

"There will be a maximum of only 50,000 families who need to apply.

"Helen Clark would have us believe that she is engaged in a $21 million nationwide advertising campaign in election year for the sake of 50,000 families. Yeah Right! That's a cost of over $400 a pop.

"Once again, Helen Clark is treating taxpayer money as though it was her own," said Mr Hide.

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