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Concern over turning tide on unemployment

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

11 May 2006

Concern over turning tide on unemployment

National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says the latest figures showing a rise in unemployment should send a "cold shudder" through the tired Labour Government.

"Meaningful welfare reform is always easier when the economic conditions are good. Labour has squandered that opportunity."

Ms Collins is commenting on figures that show the unemployment rate rose from 3.6 to 3.9 percent in the March quarter.

"Because of the likelihood of growing joblessness, welfare reform should have already taken place.

"A single core benefit, which Budget leaks are suggesting will be among the measures flagged next week, doesn't constitute meaningful welfare reform and is more about hiding the figures.

"Labour has shuffled the deck chairs and allowed thousands upon thousands of Kiwis to slip onto sickness and invalids benefits.

"And welfare reform will become even more critical if skilled Kiwis start taking up the carrot that Australia is offering in the form of wide ranging tax cuts.

"Labour has had no will to reform welfare. They have made some tinkering changes and the forecasts show unemployment is set to rise.

"Labour has coasted along on the good climate provided by economic conditions that have absolutely nothing to do with their policies. It's time to take welfare reform seriously," says Ms Collins.

ENDS


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