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Greens challenge Nats on welfare policy

25 February 2008

Greens challenge Nats on welfare policy

Green Party Social Development Spokesperson Sue Bradford today challenged National to come clean on its welfare policy following a media release from Judith Collins accusing the Government of 'failing young mums' on the DPB.

"Like many others I remember the 1990s and the many attacks on beneficiaries launched by the then National Government during that period," Ms Bradford says.

"The Green Party is asking Judith Collins to tell us where she and her party really stand on the provision of the DPB.

"If National gains power, will they cut the benefit altogether for DPB recipients under 20 as Ms Collins may possibly be implying in her release?

"And will they be putting a work-testing system in place which means that sole parents are required to meet similar obligations to unemployed beneficiaries once their children reach a certain age?

"New Zealanders deserve to know the answers to these questions now, rather than having a beneficiary-bashing package dropped on us after the election as happened with the 1991 benefit cuts.

"Ms Collins' use of statistics is also somewhat dubious. She laments the number of 20 to 24 year-olds currently on the DPB who 'have been on it since they were teenagers'.

"Given that people who have just turned 20 have only just stopped being teenagers, it is entirely natural that they would show up in this category."

ENDS

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