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For Kiwis out of work life’s no fairy tale

14 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

For Kiwis out of work life’s no fairy tale

National can use all the cute words it likes to avoid answering tough questions on unemployment, but for New Zealanders out of work, life’s no fairy tale, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

“The Social Development Minister’s attempt at humour in question time today won’t be appreciated by those looking for work. New Zealanders want answers in plain English.

“There is nothing funny about trawling through job sites and newspapers day after day, week after week, and finding nothing, or being repeatedly turned down.

“The Finance Minister can explain away record high unemployment as ‘grumpy growth’– but the issue remains – 175,000 Kiwis are looking for work, and they’re not jobless due to a lack of trying.

“During the general debate this afternoon, I called on the National Government to deal with the reality of the here and now in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We don’t live in Europe or any other country. We live in New Zealand, and the problems our country is facing are real.

“Unemployment is at its highest point in a decade and after four years in office the New Zealand public deserve to hear its government take responsibility for that.

“In 1999 under the last National Government, Māori and Pacific unemployment rates were at 14.8%. Under a Labour government those rates dropped to 8.2% for Māori in 2008 and 7.3% for Pasifika. Now in 2012, under a National-led government Māori and Pasifika unemployment is above 15%.

“We are talking about real people and real families, who deserve a fair go. National is failing them – again,” Su’a William Sio said.

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