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OECD critical of Labour's welfare wagon

05 July 2005

OECD critical of Labour's welfare wagon

National's Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins, says the latest OECD report is critical of Labour's welfare wagon, which many are getting on but few are getting off.

The report says:

"...Beneficiary numbers are discouragingly high, considering that the country has been experiencing widespread labour shortages and the macroeconomic environment remains highly favourable for people wishing to take up work."

"This is what National has been saying for months. Now even the OECD agrees that welfare dependency is a major problem in New Zealand," says Ms Collins.

"Thousands of jobs are available, but Labour makes it far too easy for people to stay on a benefit, and far too difficult to get off it."

The report also recommends: "Providing greater encouragement and assistance to beneficiaries to shift from public income support back into paid work where they are capable of it. For sole parents, a clear expectation of return to work once the youngest child starts school would not only reduce benefit dependency and increase labour supply, it would also help to lift children out of poverty."

"This is National's welfare policy almost down to the letter. We will require DPB recipients to undertake part-time employment, retraining or community service from the time their youngest child reaches school age.

"Only National can be trusted to provide clear incentives, backed up by enforceable expectations, for beneficiaries to move into the workforce," says Ms Collins.

ENDS

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