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PQ 3. Unemployment—Prime Minister’s Statements

3. Unemployment—Prime Minister’s Statements

[Sitting date: 29 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:2. Text is subject to correction.]

3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by his statement that there are “plenty of jobs out there”; if so, why are there 42,000 more people unemployed now than when he took office?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): I can certainly see why that member would be worried about unemployment. But to the first part of the question, yes. According to ANZ, 38,000 job advertisements appeared in the newspaper and on the internet in the month of June, up by almost 6 percent over the previous month. To the second part of the question, more people are looking for work and, subsequently , more people are becoming employed. Since we took office, over 100,000 more people have become employed. The combination has pushed New Zealand’s participation rate to 69.3 percent, which is the highest it has ever been since the household labour force survey began, and significantly higher than in Australia.

Hon David Cunliffe : Given that the Prime Minister seems to think that unemployment is a joke, can he confirm that the number of jobless is now 50,000 higher today and that there are more jobless in every region of the country except Canterbury?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : No, I cannot confirm that. What I can confirm is that there are 100,000 more people with jobs. As I said, I congratulate the member on getting through caucus—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! That will not help.

Hon David Cunliffe : Does his definition of getting more people into jobs include by fair means or foul getting the ACT candidate for Epsom a job; if so, what will poor old Paul Goldsmith do for one?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : We will see what the voters decide—we will see what the voters decide. All I do know is that on this side of the House people support the person who is the leader; on that side of the House they do not.

Hon David Cunliffe : Why is he finding a job for Peter Dunne in the Ōhariu electorate rather than campaigning for his own candidate, when Peter Dunne has never denied that he is the leaker of a sensitive classified document, or is that just “#teamleak”?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : What the Government is doing is making sure that New Zealanders are clear about both the direction we are taking the country and whom we will work with. The member might have some credibility if he was prepared to rule out Kim Dotcom and working with that party, but he will not. As I said, if the member really wants to be seriously focused on the issues that matter, he should focus on his own job, because what I keep hearing is that they are counting up the heads—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! That answer is sufficient.

Hon David Cunliffe : Given that the Prime Minister is quoted as saying he thinks ACT’s three-strikes bill is “good policy ”, why is he keeping Nick Smith in a job, when he struck one with a letter he wrote for Bronwyn Pullar to ACC, struck two with the Ruataniwha Dam, and now has struck three by attacking Fish and Game New Zealand for its statutorily required role?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Firstly, I do not think the member should believe everything he hears on Radio New Zealand or reads in the paper. Secondly, if this is what Vote Positive looks like, I would hate to think what “Vote Negative” looks like. Oh, that is right, I know that: it is called the Labour Party caucus this morning. That was—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] Order!

Hon David Cunliffe : Why is the Prime Minister keeping the Minister of Transport in his job when he is currently being investigated by his own officials for allegedly breaching the law and causing an airport security risk?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : They are not his own officials. There is an independent investigation going on, and I am not going to taint that investigation. But, as I say, it is good to see that Labour members kept the vote positive for a couple of days. All I can say is maybe they will need to go and change the billboards .

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