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Labour social security policy offers fresh vision

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Labour's social security policy is tailored to offer New Zealanders security and opportunity in the new century, says Labour Leader Helen Clark.

"Labour has a proud history of creating and strengthening social security. Now we're going to adapt it to the dramatically changed society of 21st century New Zealand."

"The new vision is focused on social participation. We want a welfare system that helps us all to cope with rapid social change, not a parking lot for those who fall behind. Welfare must still offer security, but it must begin to offer opportunity as well."

"A new partnership between government and the community will drive this change. We will work with voluntary groups and help them grow stronger. The state will be not a nanny, but a neighbour."

"Income support under Labour will be more carefully suited to meet job seekers' needs. The first priority for more investment will always be the creation of opportunity. But those unable to work will be supported, not condemned."

"That is why this policy restores the full value of the training incentive allowance and restores a training benefit for 16- and 17-year-olds.

"These measures enable disadvantaged people to make a start on the road to getting skills.

"Labour will also tackle the culture of extravagance in Work and Income New Zealand and restore the values of public service. New Zealanders will get a social security system that deserves their trust and confidence," Helen Clark said.

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