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A Positive Vision For Welfare That Works

A Positive Vision For Welfare That Works

Wednesday 10th Nov 1999
Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Muriel Newman and ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble were in Dunedin today to launch the Party's welfare policy.

Following a visit to the Otago Youth Wellness Trust Muriel Newman said that it was time to make a positive change to put independence and work back as the goal of welfare assistance.

"ACT is the only political party with the courage and vision to say that simply paying people benefits and forgetting about them is not good enough.

"The first priority is to get the focus of our welfare system right. At present we have a passive 'pay and forget' welfare system. Support to those on benefits must be active, it must be focused on helping them overcome the barriers they face to work and making sure they have access to the training and education they need to get jobs.

"ACT says it's time to stop just throwing money at the system and invest in New Zealanders to help them become independent. The goal must be to reconnect people on welfare with work so they can build a decent future for themselves and their children.

"To do this effectively we must create partnerships between government and community based organisations who understand the needs of those in their community and can better provide the personalised assistance that will help them to become independent.

"ACT is committed to doing better for families who need help. We want to make sure than every family who needs it has access to programmes like Early Start. If we don't get it right for our children from the time they are born, we are putting them at risk and putting them at a huge disadvantage in life from the start.

"ACT also says parents must take financial responsibility for their children.

"ACT believes in a strong safety net for those who are genuinely unable to take care of themselves. We believe in a welfare system that gives a gives a hand up , not just a hand out. We challenge the other political parties to say why they aren't putting forward policies to help New Zealanders become independent," said Muriel Newman.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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