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Increase in beneficiaries claiming help for cars

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

18 April 2006

Big increase in beneficiaries claiming help for cars

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins has released figures showing the number of beneficiaries receiving taxpayer-funded assistance for car repayments and running costs have rocketed under Labour.

“These are massive increases over the past six years. It suggests a loosening of the purse strings in a dramatic way.”

Ms Collins is releasing answers to written parliamentary questions that show the number of working age beneficiaries getting taxpayer-funded support for car repayments has increased from 1,528 in 2000 to 10, 018 in 2005.

The number receiving extra help for running costs has increased from 106 in 2000 to 499 last year, after a spike in 2004.

“As numbers on the sickness benefit have exploded under Labour, so too has the cost borne by the taxpayer to buy and maintain beneficiaries’ cars.”

Ms Collins also says Work and Income’s collection of data in this area is woeful.

“Work and Income is unable to tell us how much it is costing the taxpayer to purchase and maintain this fleet of vehicles.

“Nor can the Ministry tell us how many beneficiaries have got themselves deeper into debt because of the additional burden of car costs.

“This is totally unacceptable and it’s time they did,” says Ms Collins.

ENDS

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