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Minister pats her back for increased unemployment forecast

Sue MORONEY

Social Development Spokesperson

16 January 2014        MEDIA STATEMENT  

Minister pats herself on back for increased unemployment forecast.

While child poverty and inequality continue to grow in New Zealand, Paula Bennett has the nerve to congratulate herself on a report that shows unemployment last year was higher than expected and will therefore be higher than forecast for the next nine years, says Labours Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney .

“The report shows that while unemployment was higher than expected, the numbers on benefits was lower than expected. This tells us that Government is losing on the jobs front, while forcing people off Government support.

“Widows have been particularly hard-hit with a 25% decrease in the Government support for them under Ms Bennett’s new sanctioning regime. In some cases this has meant cutting the benefits of people who haven't been able to been able to afford the travel to a training session.”

“What makes this so called good news even harder to swallow is that the $10b decrease in forecast future welfare payments the Minister brags about is based on a crystal ball-gazing approach which saw $1.5b of this decrease come from a mistake made in last year's valuation.

“It stands to reason that as baby-boomers move into retirement, New Zealand's long-term liability for benefits will naturally decrease and will be replaced with an increased liability for superannuation.

"Is the Minister going to take the credit for the natural ageing process too?"

ENDS

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