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What About The Bad News, Minister?

What About The Bad News, Minister?

"It is fascinating how quickly the Minister for Social Services changes his tune when on the back foot, " observes Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB. "Previously, when the unemployment rate has been disputed, Mr Maharey strongly asserted the Household Labour Force Survey as the only official source."

"Today, however, he claimed that unemployment is down because the numbers of 'registered unemployed' have dropped in every region."

"But wait. The HLFS, the only source for the official unemployment rate, today revealed a rise of 0.3 percent."

Mrs Mitchell continues," This is just the beginning of what will be a growing struggle to put a positive spin on worsening welfare statistics."

"Here is one Mr Maharey won't be keen to publicise. According to the WINZ 2002/03 Auckland South Regional Plan around 14,000 people are on the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Of these people, 74 percent are Maori or Pacific Islander and 21 percent are youth."

"Let's be brutally honest about it," says Mitchell." Quite clearly the DPB is creating a huge group of children who will be disadvantaged from the day they are born. Children who are more likely to suffer abuse, ill health, turn to drugs, be truants and commit crime."

"When will the Minister face the fact that a policy devised to protect vulnerable children has actually worsened their position?"

Lindsay Mitchell Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

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