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

 

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

17 Year Sentences In Baby Moko Case: Attorney General On Plea Bargain

“The Crown’s decisions in this case, including the decision to accept the manslaughter pleas, were motivated by the need to secure convictions for this horrendous killing and to avoid the significant risk that either of the defendants could escape such a conviction because of evidential issues.” More>>

ALSO:

As Govt Cuts Lobby Anti-Smoking Group Funds: On The Nation - Plain Packaging Debate

Imperial Tobacco leaves open possibility of law suit against New Zealand government if plain packaging is introduced, as planned. Says it’s a “last resort” but “of course we will defend the right to use our brands”. More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news