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Rush job on benefits done in Orewa's wake

Don Brash MP - National Party Leader

07 March 2005

Rush job on benefits done in Orewa's wake

National Party Leader Don Brash says Labour has admitted that its plan for a universal benefit was put back on the agenda in the aftermath of Orewa.

The answer to written Parliamentary question 02169 confirms that Cabinet and Cabinet committees have only discussed the universal benefit twice in the past six months. Both times were after Orewa.

"According to the answers provided by Steve Maharey, the Cabinet Policy Committee discussed the plan to introduce a single core benefit on February 9, and Cabinet itself didn't discuss it until February 14. My Orewa speech on welfare was delivered on January 25.

"This backs up our theory that this was a rushed job, thrown together in a hurry. It provides the taxpayers with an insight into why the official papers were so heavily censored and why the Minister has been so reluctant to answer detailed questions about his so-called reforms," says Dr Brash.

"National is serious about beating welfare dependency - clearly, Labour is more interested in playing politics and massaging the numbers.

"The next National Government will introduce community-work-for-welfare programmes, and we will require parents on welfare to return to part-time work or retraining once their youngest child reaches school age.

"National will ensure consistency in the way sickness and invalid benefits are applied, and we will take action against those who knowingly allow their children to remain truant from school," says Dr Brash.

National has a comprehensive plan to end entrenched welfare dependency and will work towards cutting the number on welfare by 100,000 over the next ten years.

****************

Parliamentary Question: 02169 (2005)

From: qwawf Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 10:42:17 AM To: Judith Collins Subject: 02169 (2005) Published - Social Development & Employment - Normal Reply Auto forwarded by a Rule Question: What are the dates, in the last 6 months, on which Cabinet and Cabinet Committees have discussed the Government's plan to introduce a single core benefit?

Portfolio: Social Development & Employment Minister: Hon Steve Maharey Date Lodged:24/02/2005

Answer Text: During the past six months plans to introduce the single core benefit were discussed at the Policy Committee on 9 February 2005 and at Cabinet on 14 February 2005.

Attachment: None Date Received:07/03/2005


ENDS

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