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Jobless parents show government failure: Labour

Labour
2000 web siteThe National Party's claims to be putting people into jobs and not onto benefits have been shown to be about as truthful as statements about alleged payouts to former TV1 newsreader John Hawkesby, says Labour social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey.

Statistics based on the 1996 census show that more than 40 per cent of Maori children and 37.9 per cent of Pacific Islands children come from homes where parents are unemployed.

"That is absolutely astounding and a clear sign of the government's failure to move people away from their dependency on the state and into real work," Mr Maharey said.

"It shows a whole new generation of New Zealanders whose parents, through no fault of their own, are dependent on state provided benefits for their livelihood. The National/Act approach of attacking beneficiaries and treating them as second class citizens has proved to be an unmitigated failure.

"Instead accepting some responsibility for stimulating new opportunities for New Zealanders the Government has turned its back - effectively trapping more and more New Zealand families in poverty.

"The figures are a disgraceful indictment of the government's social policies of the past nine years and show it is time for a fresh new approach," Mr Maharey said.

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