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National signals benefit cuts

6 September 2005

National signals benefit cuts

National needs to tell New Zealanders how much they will cut from benefits to pay for tax cuts, Social Development and Employment Minister said today.

John Key told the New Zealand Herald that National would fund part of its tax cuts with 'welfare delivery' adjustments – the same language used by National to describe its 1991 cuts to benefits.

"If National is going to cut benefits, they need to tell us now – not after the election," Steve Maharey said. "We know they're planning big cuts to plug the $3.7 billion whole in their budget.

"The 1991 cuts to benefits led to child poverty hitting 34 per cent in the mid 90s. This would be a big price to pay for a $93 tax cut for the wealthiest 3 per cent of earners.

"When combined with National's scrapping of income related rents for state house tenants and the 2007 increase to Family Support, the effects of benefit cuts would be devastating.

"National cannot be allowed to use weasel words to mask their true plans – the time to front up is now."


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