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Minister And Ministry At Odds

Minister And Ministry At Odds

The Ministry of Social Development yesterday confirmed they are working on proposals to re-introduce work-testing for sole parents, according to Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB.

"Interestingly, their Chief Executive, Peter Hughes, had to confirm to the Social Services select committee that the Minister for Social Development, David Benson-Pope, was 'lukewarm' about the idea. This was necessary due to Benson-Pope's absence."

"Mr Hughes was no doubt mindful of the Minister's earlier description of sole parent work-testing as 'punitive'. It's a shame the Minister denied the select committee MPs an opportunity to ask him to explain his understanding of the term 'punitive'."

"On the face of it, this is a poor start from the Minister charged with responsibility for the largest item of government expenditure and over a million lives."

"Then again," Mitchell reflected, "Perhaps the best we can hope for is that Benson-Pope continues to take a back seat and leaves the job in the hands of those who know what needs to be done."

Lindsay Mitchell Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB ph/fx 04 562 7944

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