Steve Maharey Spinning Again
"Those of us paying for the DPB have a right to know what Mr Maharey is doing with our money," says an angry Lindsay Mitchell, Petitioner for a parliamentary review of the DPB. "We can have no confidence in a Minister who completely changes his tune in less than the space of a year."
In July 2001, Mr Maharey went on record as saying that the increased case management required by proposed changes to the DPB would be expensive, but that he would spend more on the DPB now if it meant saving money later. He added that he would be angling for the extra money in next year's budget.
"Next year arrives," says Mrs Mitchell, "And Mr Maharey does a complete about-face by now insisting that current WINZ staff levels are sufficient to handle the increased hands-on management the new law will require - this despite the fact that case manager numbers have dropped by one sixth since 1999."
"The public are getting very tired of claims that just don't stack up. Here's another one. The new DPB case management system is, according to the bill, building on the success of the COMPASS scheme. But an evaluation of that scheme clearly revealed that under- resourcing was a major problem."
Mitchell concludes, "Steve Maharey's stewardship of the $14 billion dollars spent yearly on welfare, the single largest item of government expenditure, is a source of enormous concern. He is obviously floundering."
Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB
ph/fx 04 562-7944