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Labour could learn welfare reform from mainstream

Labour could learn welfare reform from mainstream Kiwis

Ordinary New Zealanders have a far better idea how to put an end to welfare dependency than Labour does, says National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins.

She is commenting on a report in the NZ Herald today that again confirms that current unemployment figures belie New Zealand’s real welfare dependency problem.

“At a time when employers are crying out for staff it is shocking that we have almost 300,000 working age New Zealanders dependent on benefits. Something is seriously amiss,” says Ms Collins.

A Ministry of Social Development report shows that much of the recent growth in sickness and invalids’ benefits has come from within the benefit system. In other words, Labour is putting beneficiaries out of employers’ reach at a time when they are desperately needed.

“Hiding how many people are dependent on welfare by shifting them onto sickness and invalids’ benefits, or enrolling them in low-quality education courses, does nothing to tackle welfare dependency.

“Readers of the NZ Herald pointed out the obvious practical solutions, including work for the dole/retraining, and making sure people are not penalised for working. These are lessons Labour continually refuses to learn.

“Only National has the determination and vision to reform our welfare system,” says Ms Collins.


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