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United Future's Brain-Child A Dud

January 27, 2005

United Future's Brain-Child A Dud

Rajen Prasad, Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission, yesterday attacked Don Brash's Orewa speech with an ill-informed defence of the domestic purposes benefit, according to Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.

"Rajen Prasad says that 'more than 40 percent of domestic purposes beneficiaries already work part-time.' In fact, data from the Ministry of Social Development last year showed that only 24 percent of DPB recipients with dependent children worked part-time. Prasad must be referring to current earnings declarations which do not relate directly to current work status."

"He then says, 'support is often necessary for short periods to ensure families can function well and children are properly cared for.' This ignores that 45 percent of DPB recipients have been on a benefit continuously for four years or more - the sort of long-term dependency Brash is worried about."

"The Families Commission is the brain-child of the United Future Party, whose 2002 election manifesto contained the following;

PROBLEM; In 1975 we had 17,000 people on the DPB. We now have over 110,000. Direct costs, at present are $1.4 billion and are expected to rise to $1.6 billion within three years. Children from welfare dependent homes are more likely to have poor health, difficulties with learning, dysfunctional social relationships and criminal convictions.

"By promoting the DPB the Families Commission will only add to this problem. What a bitter disappointment they must be to United Future."

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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