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Sowry outlines legacy of government failure

2000 web siteSocial Services Minister Roger Sowry deserves all the scorn and derision directed at him for his latest attempt to distance the National government from its social policy failures, says Labour social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey.

Mr Maharey said today that the Minister was completely out of touch to blame parents for social ills such as the steady increase in serious offending, alcohol and drug abuse, health issues, unemployment, and not getting a proper education.

"It is encouraging that Mr Sowry is finally admitting that these problems exist but no one should forget that the National government has had nine years to address the issues and has failed to do so," Mr Maharey said.

"Mr Sowry's speech rekindles memories of the Government's disastrous Code of Social and Family Responsibility which also tried to blame families and parents for social ills. It is a complete abrogation of responsibility and another sign of a worn out government in its death throws.

"Despite National/Act propaganda, parents don't chose to be unemployed, they don't choose to be poor, they don't choose to live in overcrowded and unaffordable accommodation and they don't choose for their children to be exposed to third world health problems. These things happen because the National government has turned its back and allowed them to happen. Throughout its time in government it has failed to provide opportunities for low-income New Zealand families to lift themselves out of poverty.

"The consequence is social dislocation, education failures and crime and that is the legacy of the National/Act approach towards social policy."

"The last thing this country needs is more of the same."

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