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Shipley makes it up, again

Labour
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"Mrs Shipley's determination to mislead people about her Government's record shows up again today in her claim that domestic purposes benefit numbers are dropping," says Labour's social welfare spokesperson Steve Maharey.

"In fact DPB numbers are forecast by Treasury to climb gradually from the middle of next year. Mrs Shipley's drop is only a dip - and a tiny one at that.

"The pre-election economic update says DPB numbers "fell slightly" with the introduction of work testing. "Slightly" means from 115,000 in 1997/98 to a forecast 111,000 this year. That's a drop of only 3.5%.

"Three years from now the number of people on the DPB is forecast to hit a new high of 117,000.

"If Mrs Shipley thinks her Government's welfare policies are helping beneficiaries, she can't count. Since 1990 the total number of people on benefits has increased by 23%, from 316,602 to 388,440.

"The Treasury forecast is that beneficiary numbers and benefit costs are still heading relentlessly upwards.

"That might be the best National can do, but it's not the best New Zealand can do."

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