Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Tickets to ride, but numbers questionable

Jacinda ARDERN

Social Development Spokesperson                       

23 December 2012                                                  

MEDIA STATEMENT

Tickets to ride, but numbers questionable

While Paula Bennett has been able to give a media outlet details of the number of  unemployed people Work and Income has paid to travel to Australia for work,  she seems determined to withhold the same information from Labour, its Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. 
 
“Despite asking questions on the number of times the Transition to Work Grant was used for tickets to Australia on the 7th of December, the Minister is yet to reply to me.
 
“She has however chosen to drop the information to the media.  Yesterday it was reported that 68 beneficiaries had their flights to Australia paid for by Work and income, while 11 were assisted to get to places as far away as Israel.
 
“In the last five years 500,000 people have received funds through the Transition to Work grant. Given that airline tickets could be listed as basic ‘travel costs’, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know what the real figures are.
 
“What we do know is that Ms Bennett presides over a department that has given up on creating opportunities for Kiwis in New Zealand.
 
“Paying people to travel to Israel and the UK shows just how desperate Work and Income was to keep benefit numbers down and how desperate New Zealanders were to find work.
 
“Ms Bennett’s attempt at obfuscation by not answering parliamentary questions is typical of National. If there’s an issue, Ministers either don’t front, or they try to fudge it.
 
“What is really clear in this case is that Ms Bennett didn't know what was going on in her own department.
 
“She only issued a ministerial directive to end the practice after I queried it in Parliament earlier this month. MSD had begun centralising decisions around the use of the grant in September.
 
“At some stage I hope Labour is provided with the correct figures, and with other information around the grant that has so far gone unanswered.”
 
ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Labour: New Figures Show Speculators Rampant

New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

False Official Information Response: English's Apology Accepted

Finance Minister Bill English is being thanked for his apology to New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters... Mr English says his staff and the Treasury have searched again, and they found the document that they denied having. More>>

ALSO:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news