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National not fit to manage economy

21 August 2006

Collins confirms National not fit to manage economy

Social Development Minister David Benson-Pope says comments by National MP Judith Collins confirm that the National Party is not fit to manage the economy.

"Just weeks ago I corrected Mrs Collins about her grossly inaccurate statement regarding the PATHS programme for Sickness and Invalids Benefit clients", Mr Benson-Pope said. "PATHS is a win-win for clients, employers, and the taxpayer. The same applies to Job Plus, and Mrs Collins' remarks highlight her party's policy vacuum in the face of a strong economy and record unemployment."

"Job Plus has successfully placed more than 117,000 New Zealanders into full-time employment. This is the record-keeping that counts: the number of people being supported to move into paid work, economic independence, and future opportunities."

"It's programmes like Job Plus that have seen the number of people receiving Unemployment Benefit fall by a massive 74% since the Labour-led Government took office in 1999, overall benefit numbers fall by 30%, and unemployment hit record lows. This shows that Labour's policies are working for individuals, families, and the economy.

"Mrs Collins' comments are not only mean-spirited, they're also based on false economics. Every person we support into work is a person paying taxes rather than drawing a benefit. It doesn't take a genius to compare the cost of someone being on a benefit with the gains of someone being in work."

ENDS



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