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Labour's 'Ready to Work' Copied NZ First’s 'Community Wage'

Darroch Ball MP
Spokesperson for Social Development



The Labour Party’s Ready for Work scheme is simply a poor attempt at copy cating New Zealand First’s Community Wage scheme, says New Zealand First Spokesperson for Social Development Darroch Ball.

New Zealand First’s successful Community Wage scheme was part of a coalition agreement between New Zealand First and the National Party in the 1996 coalition. It provided a minimum wage in exchange for community-based work for those who were long term beneficiaries.

“The Labour Party scrapped the Community Wage scheme in 2001 – the very same scheme that they now are calling a solution,” says Mr Ball.

“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, however, Labour’s ‘Ready for Work’ programme has serious flaws. It excludes important aspects of New Zealand First’s original policy.

“Labour has excluded any elements of concurrent training -- professional development which led to full-time work or further education.

“How is a young person’s CV advanced by pulling weeds from a walkway for six months?

“This is an attempt at a feel-good policy which misses the objective of assisting young people in to meaningful fulltime employment.

“It lacks any solution to get unemployed youth off the scrap heap and into real education or employment.”

NZ First Community Wage:

- Long term job seekers

- Paid minimum wage

- Work – DOC, waterways, etc

- Mentor/coordinator

Labour Ready to Work:

- Long term job seekers

- Paid minimum wage

- Work – DOC, waterways, etc

- Mentor/coordinator


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