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Maharey quietly shelves much-vaunted core benefit

Maharey quietly shelves much-vaunted core benefit

Steve Maharey has quietly shelved Labour’s much-vaunted single core benefit, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

“Despite first announcing it was a goer seven years ago, and then claiming Cabinet had approved it in February 2005, he has now written to me saying Cabinet is yet to make any decisions on it.

“The single core benefit was nothing more than a slogan by a Minister who frequently makes grandiose promises but consistently fails to deliver.

“In 2005 he conservatively estimated that the single core benefit would save up to $70 million a year.

“If the Minister could really save up to $70 million a year implementing a core benefit, why hasn’t he done it? I suspect it’s more weasel words from Mr Maharey.”

Ms Collins says what’s worse is the Minister has racked up $100 million in administrative charges to support the core benefit even though he can’t say when or even if the increasingly fictitious core benefit will be implemented.

“Mr Maharey is still ignoring Treasury’s advice around this doomed project.

“Treasury - as I have pointed out in the past - has said ‘the proposals raise major issues with respect to value for money. Around $100 million is sought from 2007/08 to 2011/12. A significant proportion of these costs are for benefit administration. The paper provides no evidence that the core package would deliver savings to justify the scale of these costs’.”

Ms Collins says all Steve Maharey has done is to arrogantly slam Treasury’s advice.

“He is so cavalier with taxpayer dollars that he has thumbed his nose at $70 million in savings, preferring instead to spend up large.”


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