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Is Government reviving 'Ruthenasia' policies?

Is Government reviving 'Ruthenasia' policies?

The new President of the Democratic Party has described the Government's 'Job Jolt' initiative as almost a return to the beneficiary bashing policies of the early 1990s.

"Promoting a policy to get 22000 people back into some form of paid employment is an admission of the failure of the Regional 'jobs machine' scheme that has been running for over three years" said John Pemberton today.

"The reason that most unemployed people have moved into country areas is mainly because they have been unable to get jobs and unable to survive on the dole" he said "living in the country is a last resort option in all too many cases because of the high cost of living, travel and accommodation in the areas where there are vacancies and the low pay on offer".

" There are a couple of 'minor' problems associated with the Labour Governments version of the Richardson formula for 'targeting' these people" continued Mr. Pemberton. "Firstly, they often lack the skills required in the available vacancies, otherwise the majority of them wouldn't be unemployed. Secondly, if they are forced back into the high cost arena of city life, in a job with a pay scale commensurate with their skills they will be set up to fail again"

The Democrats have stringently opposed the policies of economic centralisation, which have seen a 15-year process of almost wrecking the infrastructure of many regions and the hopes and expectations of ordinary New Zealanders. "This has led to an imbalance in the values of properties between the larger centres of population and the smaller towns and villages in the country and remote areas. It has also, alongside policies such as the student loan scheme and the employment contracts experiment, resulted in New Zealand becoming a relatively low-income, skill deficient nation" the Democrat President said.

"Our solution is to refocus on business development investment in the smaller regions and to provide regional training and education programs for those who want to get back into productive employment. If there are those reluctant to take up the opportunities offered then that is the time to 'get tough' but taking 22,000 people for a drink at what may turn out to be a mirage smacks of political expediency" concluded Mr Pemberton.

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