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Story on CYF changes

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

14 March 2006

Pre-election vs post-election - story on CYF changes

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says Labour has lost all credibility as a competent manager of the service that is expected to deal with our most vulnerable children and families.

"They were telling the public one thing about CYF before the election, and now the truth has emerged. Labour knew its bluster was unsustainable, and Ruth Dyson should accept that what she was saying as recently as June was not the whole truth."

At a select committee meeting last June, Ms Dyson said CYF was 'moving into a phase of what I describe as performance excellence, and that is not a term I would use lightly'. She also told the committee that 'productivity, the timeliness, and the service quality improvements are quite extraordinary'.

"So the Minister is now asking the public to believe that between last June and today CYF has had a catastrophic meltdown, making a merger with MSD essential.

"Clearly, Ms Dyson and Labour were attempting to deceive the public about the real state of affairs at this troubled government department.

"So far no-one has provided any evidence that merging CYF into MSD will do anything to improve the service being delivered to at-risk youth and families.

"So far no-one has told us how much this re-branding exercise will cost, and no-one has told us what impact the restructuring will have on MSD, which is supposed to be rolling out the biggest change to benefits in 50 years.

"Labour's management of CYF has been an appalling disgrace. It has poured vast sums of taxpayer money into the department, but what's now clear is it lacked the direction of a competent Minister who, rather than front up to the difficulties, issued unambiguous denials.

"If one thing is now clear - it's that the public can no longer trust Labour to provide truthful, straight answers," says Ms Collins.

ENDS

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