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Labour kisses goodbye to single core benefit

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

12 February 2008

Labour kisses goodbye to single core benefit

The Prime Minister has finally kissed goodbye to Labour’s much-trumpeted single core benefit, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

“Helen Clark put the final nail in the coffin of this mythical initiative in her complete omission of any reference to it in her opening address to Parliament today.

“This speech is supposed to set out the Government’s priorities for the year ahead, but no mention was made of it.

“It’s no surprise really. From the time it was a germ of an idea and flagged by Labour in 1989, it has been re-announced in various incarnations.

“In 2000, Steve Maharey said the single core benefit would be finalised by 2002. Labour then said in 2004, that it would be cleared by Cabinet by the end of that year.

“In January 2005, Helen Clark said ‘it’s very close to coming to a head’ (clipping attached) and Steve Maharey later promised that legislation would be introduced that year, helping save the taxpayer up to $70 million annually.

“Helen Clark then announced in her 2006 opening speech to Parliament that ‘work will be stepped up this year on a new benefit structure, aimed at offering the same range of case management services for employment to people across the current separate categories’.

“David Benson-Pope said in October 2006, that ‘Cabinet decisions on these matters will be announced shortly’.

“Helen Clark will dismiss her failure to commit to this cursed initiative as a mere oversight.

“But the writing’s been on the wall for almost a decade. The single core benefit has been put out of its misery and is, finally, dead and buried.”

ENDS

Attachment: 31_Jan_2005_universal_benefit.doc

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