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More Mistakes From Welfare Ministers


More Mistakes From Welfare Ministers

Steve Maharey and Rick Barker, respectively Minister and Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment, ought to sort their stories out, Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB said today, after figures released contradicted earlier information.

"Late last year, Rick Barker told United Future that at the end of August 2004 almost 15,000 people had been on the unemployment benefit for longer than three years."

"Today, Steve Maharey is saying, ' In just five months between June and November 2004, the number of people unemployed for more than three years plummeted by 1,400 - the figure now stands at just 7,300.' "

"Both Ministers can't both be right."

"And if you take into account concurrent spells on benefits other than the unemployment, the percentage of long-term unemployed beneficiaries increases significantly. For instance, whereas at June 2004 12.7 percent of unemployed beneficiaries had continuously received that benefit for four or more years, the figure almost doubles to 23.5 percent for those who continuously received any benefit."

"But even more importantly, in today's announcement about extra emphasis on getting beneficiaries into work, the DPB was neglected completely."

"Yet this is this the benefit that produces the greatest long-term dependency and affects more than just the recipient. It affects their children as well."

"In September 2004, forty five percent or 49,000 people on the DPB had been on this or other benefits continuously for four or more years."

"When are we going to get serious about this problem, which is fuelling a great deal of the intergenerational dependency which, in turn, creates social, health, education and crime problems?"

Lindsay Mitchell petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB forms available from www.liberalvalues.org.nz contact dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

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