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Government is Christmas scrooge for beneficiaries

SueMORONEY

Social Development Spokesperson

5 December 2013         MEDIA STATEMENT  

Government is Christmas scrooge for beneficiaries

New Zealanders reliant on social security will be facing extreme hardship this Christmas, with more than 11,000 benefits being cut because MSD’s requirements were not met, says Labour’s Spokesperson for Social Development Sue Moroney.

“Yesterday we saw an example of a woman from Putaruru forced to travel 40kms to meet MSD’s requirements to attend a seminar – today we find out that 11,382 people had their benefits cut because they failed to satisfy the bureaucrats.

“Data released by Labour shows there were 11,382 benefits cut between July 15 and September 30 because of the ‘work obligations test’. More than 7600 benefit payments were halved while 3734 were cancelled completely.

“To place unrealistic demands on people at a time when jobs are scarce and then take away their only source of income as a punishment is a cruel and cynical cost-cutting measure,” said Sue Moroney.

“The worst thing is that it is children who suffer.

“Around 30,000 people will be affected by National’s cost cuts. We all pay the price for that in the end. The Government that claims to care about vulnerable children, just made a lot more children vulnerable this Christmas.

“Let me be clear – these are not people committing benefit fraud. They are people utterly reliant on the benefit to put a roof over their head and food on the table who have missed a phone call or a meeting with Work and Income.

“It will also make for a more difficult Christmas period for our hard-working social services.”

ENDS

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