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Focus on Welfare 'Savings' a Costly Recipe for Poor Health

Focus on Welfare 'Savings' a Costly Recipe for Poor Health Outcomes

Revelations that Bill English aims to focus on 'bedding in' welfare reform in 2013 is a stark reminder that this government remains ignorant of of the true costs of their policies, says Auckland Action Against Poverty Spokesperson Chris Zack.

“The so called 'fiscal benefits' of welfare reform to which Mr English speaks is framed in overly simplistic and narrow analysis of the role social assistance plays in New Zealand.

“Short term reductions in beneficiary numbers within the context of challenging economic times will undoubtedly lead to poor health outcomes for our most vulnerable people.

“Poor social outcomes as a result of 'financially beneficial' welfare reform have long term financial costs that are ignored by the National Government. Independent research states that child poverty alone has financial costs of up to 10 billion a year.

“Considering Mr English is so concerned about results in the public sector, perhaps his government should focus on producing results themselves rather than chipping away at the safety net of those who struggle with National's failed economic policies.

“A responsible government would shift focus to creating jobs and opportunities for people rather than using welfare reform as a clever ruse to give the impression they are trying to solve the economic problems that we face.


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