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Labour's attempt to hide benefit numbers fails

Labour's attempt to hide benefit numbers fails

Dr Muriel Newman
Wednesday, 20 July 2005
Press Releases - Social Welfare

Labour's latest claims of success in reducing benefit dependency are now being greeted with public scepticism, ACT Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Labour's track record of manipulating statistics to make themselves look good has resulted in a widespread loss of credibility in the eyes of the general public. People now think that Labour's claims are either inflated or worse that they have been manipulated.

"This certainly appears to be the case when it comes to welfare numbers; how can Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey reconcile claiming the credit for low unemployment numbers when there are still 74,000 people dependent on the dole at a time when there is a critical shortage of workers," Dr Newman said.

"Further, given the 38 percent rise in sickness benefit and invalid benefit numbers to a record 138,000 working age adults, how many of those previously registered as unemployed are now hidden within these two benefits?

"How many of these unemployed are now calling themselves students and are getting a student allowance to do dodgy courses?

"How many of them are employed in job creation schemes within the bloated Government service?

"What we do know is that Treasury has clearly stated that the number of beneficiaries is going to rise by 19,000 in the next three years.

"It is this culture of manipulation and deceit to make themselves look good that will eventually lead to Labour's downfall," Dr Newman said.


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