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IHC axes jobs thanks to Labour's legislation

Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Disability Issues Spokesman

8 October 2007

IHC axes jobs thanks to Labour's legislation

National's Disability Issues spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison, is describing as tragic the loss of hundreds of IHC jobs because of changes to the law.

"Labour's repeal of the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act comes into force on 30 October.

"The effect of this legislation is to ensure people with disabilities are paid the minimum wage, but this is impossible for many non-profit IHC businesses.

"The legislation allows workers who are significantly limited in their work because of a disability to be issued with a minimum wage exemption, but the IHC is not supporting this.

Dr Hutchison cites the example of Taupo Ironing, an IHC-run business which has been severely affected by the legislation.

"This business closed its doors for the last time earlier this month because the new rules will make it unaffordable for it to continue to run.

"A father of one of the workers says the job gave his 37-year-old daughter a sense of self-worth and a small but meaningful wage. He says she will be at a loss without it.

"Sadly, this will be the pattern around the country over the next few months.

"National is supportive of the philosophy behind 'Pathways to Inclusion' but is disappointed Labour remains hell-bent on implementing ideological legislation that is impractical and causes many disabled people to miss out.

"It is going to cause widespread distress for many families."

ENDS

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