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                                                  


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.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news