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Government funding the wrong helpline

Judith Collins MP
National Party Families Spokeswoman

8 August 2006


Government funding the wrong helpline

National’s Families spokeswoman, Judith Collins, is calling on the Government to divert funding from its wasteful 211 helpline to youth telephone counselling services.

“Labour is wasting more than half a million dollars a year on the 211 community helpline, which receives just 36 calls a day at a cost of $52 a call, and its service duplicates the service already provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau,” says Ms Collins.

“Yet the Government is ignoring telephone counselling service What’s Up, which receives 1,500 calls a day, but can only answer 30% of them because of a lack of funding.

“Surely the 211 helpline money is better spent providing a service where there is actual demand.

“Young people are hurting themselves at a younger age than ever before and it is extremely disturbing. These counselling helplines are sometimes the only avenue they feel comfortable using.

“We need to support these services, and support our kids.”


ENDS

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