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Productivity Report Makes Crucial Recommendations

Media Release
Monday, November 30, 2009

2025 Productivity Report Makes Crucial Recommendations

Crucial recommendations about the reform of working age welfare contained in the 2025 Taskforce Report must not be ignored, according to welfare commentator, Lindsay Mitchell.

"The report says that far too many fit and able New Zealanders are receiving their income from the state, " said Mrs Mitchell. "This reduces New Zealand's productivity through loss of participation and contribution."

"The authors have specifically recommended that the domestic purposes benefit have a 'absolute cut-off period' of 5 years. It observes that in many households parents work when their children are quite young, even when they may not want to. It finds no reason why those supported by the taxpayer should be treated more generously."

"It goes on to detail the disproportionate growth in invalid and sickness beneficiaries and urges serious efforts to get people off these benefits and into jobs wherever this can be realistically and compassionately achieved. Interestingly the report does not mention reform of the unemployment benefit. That may be because the authors recognise that sickness and invalid benefits have become, to some extent, de facto dole payments."

"The report's welfare recommendations are not out of line with what National campaigned on but have yet to deliver. The recommendations are not particularly radical and should be welcomed by all New Zealanders as the very minimum required to lift productivity and living standards to Australian levels by 2025."

ENDS

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