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Report confirms more living in severe hardship

Judith Collins
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

8 August 2006

Social Report confirms more living in severe hardship

National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins, says the 2006 Social Report confirms that poorer New Zealanders are casualties of Labour’s failed policies.

The report says that ‘between 2000 and 2004, there was an increase of 3 percentage points in the proportion of the population experiencing severe hardship’.

Last month, the New Zealand Living Standards report found that 8% of New Zealanders are living in severe hardship. Most are beneficiaries with children.

After the release of the Living Standards report, Health Minister Pete Hodgson dismissed it in Parliament: ‘Unlike the New Zealand Living Standards 2004 report, which is something of an attitudinal survey, the social report is hard data’.

“Well, here is that hard data,” says Ms Collins.

“Despite a strong economy, Labour has fostered a culture of dependency at the expense of independence and personal responsibility.

“Labour claims to be a champion of the poor and the disadvantaged, but these results show their policies are not helping break the cycle – they are forcing more people into severe hardship.

“National says that to increase living standards we need a strong education system, a tax system that rewards hard work and enterprise, and a strong social safety net which encourages people to take responsibility for themselves and their families.”


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