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New Minister continues cynicism over benefit

Judith Collins MP National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

8 November 2007

New Minister continues cynicism over single benefit

Labour is still playing politics with its mythical single core benefit, says National's Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

"Today, the new Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson told the House that yet another announcement on the single core benefit can be expected early next year, which just happens to be election year.

"It will come as a surprise to no one if this proves to be yet another empty promise. Ruth Dyson is simply parroting what a succession of Social Development Ministers have said about the single core benefit over the past seven years.

* Steve Maharey said in 2000 that the Government was working towards a single core benefit. * In February 2005, he said legislation for the single core benefit would be introduced that year and that the changes would save $70 million a year. * Helen Clark, in affirming her Minister's commitment, said that same month 'it's really a refocus of the benefit system through the structure of a single benefit'. * David Benson-Pope said in October 2006, that 'Cabinet decisions on these matters will be announced shortly'.

"If the Government really believes a single core benefit will save up to $70 million a year, it would have made its introduction a priority.

"It has never been implemented because Labour has never had any intention of keeping its word.

"Ruth Dyson, by breathing new life into the corpse of Steve Maharey's fictitious single core benefit, is simply carrying on the tradition of cynical, weasel-worded Labour Ministers."


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