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Labour to Axe Successful Welfare Programmes

The worst fears of the people of Otara working to get into real jobs have today been realised with Labour confirming that it will scrap the community wage.

"Otara's Rangatira Trust has a 70 percent success rate in placing long-term unemployed people in real jobs. The programme gives unemployed people, otherwise without hope, work experience, job and life skills designed for them personally to build up their confidence and self esteem. The Trust is giving a real hand up to help people from welfare to work.

"One of the most visible signs of the Trust's work are the clean fences and buildings and safe streets around Otara - once known as the most graffitied suburb in New Zealand.

"For ideological reasons Labour is going to throw away this successful scheme and others like it around the country, and simply put people back on the scrap heap. Labour's sole reason for doing so is that the scheme was not their idea.

"In its place Labour wants another two quangos. The first is a Community Employment Organisation that is to set up government run "small businesses".

"Unlike Labour, ACT recognises that it is real small businesses, not government , that creates real jobs. Only ACT is saying that to help businesses create those real jobs we will get government red tape and bureaucracy off the backs of businesses.

"Labour's second quango is to be called the Independent Future Work Unit which is to advise on matters like "Family friendly work places, sabbaticals and job sharing".

"The axing of the community wage and the setting up of two new quango's summarises Labour's entire policy approach: get rid of what works and replace it with bureaucracy and red tape," said Muriel Newman.


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