Nothing to celebrate unless jobs are real
Social Development Spokesperson
17 January 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
Nothing to celebrate
unless jobs are real
Fewer beneficiaries is only good news if they have decent jobs to go to, says Labour's Spokesperson for Social Development Sue Moroney.
“Today's benefit figures show the Government is making no headway in the number of 18-24 year olds or Maori on job seeker benefits in the last year, despite their harsh reforms.
“The figures also tell a story of increasing joblessness in the regions outside of Canterbury and Auckland.
"In the Waikato Region, for example, the number of people on the Job Seeker benefit rose by 1,134 in the last quarter alone. And that is despite the harsh approach being taken by this Government.
“This tells us that depending on natural disasters, such as earthquakes, to reduce unemployment is not a sustainable strategy.
“Just two days ago the Ministry of Social Development issued a report that increased the forecast unemployment figure for 2013 – so a corresponding fall in the number of people receiving Government support raises questions.
“National's policy of cutting people off benefits whether they have jobs or not is increasing child poverty and inequality.
"There have been instances of people having their benefits cut because they couldn't get to a seminar 30kms away or there was a bureaucratic bungle within Work and Income - this is hardly a cause for celebration in a country that prides itself on fairness.
“We know that less than half of people coming of benefits each week are going into jobs. Unless the Minister can show that these 17,000 people have got decent jobs we have nothing to celebrate,” says Sue Moroney
“There are still 35,700 more people on benefits now than there were in December 2008, when Labour was the Government.”