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$50 million promise vague and narrow

Bill English MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

30 October 2008

$50 million promise vague and narrow

Labour’s transitional economic package will only help people in a household where someone else is working and misses those most in need, says National Party Finance spokesman Bill English.

“It’s hard to understand why Labour has decided to do nothing for households who lose all their income through redundancy, such as a couple where one person stays at home to look after children, or a sole parent who loses their job.”

“If one person in a household is working and the other is at home with the children, you get nothing from this package when you lose your job.

“But where a couple are both working, the household will get the full couple rate of unemployment benefit if one of them is made redundant.

“And why should sole parents miss out on any extra assistance? They work, they also ‘take on obligations commensurate with their earnings’, as Labour says.

“So, to those who have another source of income, more will be given.”

The cost estimate of $50 million a year would be plausible if there was any funding for the package, but there is no funding.

"When Labour says funding will have come from existing baselines, that means they plan to cut something.

"So what are they going to cut?

“This is another badly constructed policy on the hoof that they can't pay for.

“Helen Clark should also be up front about what promises she will break if she gets the chance to deliver her December mini-Budget. The money has to come from somewhere.”


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