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Labour keeps quiet on 20% spike in unemployment

Judith Collins MP
National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

5 September 2008

Labour keeps quiet on 20% spike in unemployment

Labour should explain why it hasn’t made public new figures which show the number of people on the unemployment benefit rose by 20% in a month, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

“Ruth Dyson is always first out of the blocks with her megaphone when unemployment benefit numbers fall. Her silence on the latest numbers speaks volumes. Ms Dyson will have had the latest unemployment figures for weeks.”

Mrs Collins says the number of people collecting the unemployment benefit increased from 17,655 in June this year to 20,475 at the end of July.

“In May this year, when the largest quarterly decline in employment in a decade was recorded, Ms Dyson said the increase in unemployment was ‘not bad news at all actually’.

“She did that even as senior economists were describing the figures as ‘very grim’ and ‘an absolute shocker’.

“When unemployment was declining Ms Dyson was among those saying it was all
Labour’s doing. Yet now the statistics are heading the other way, Labour looks for someone or something else to blame.”

National released its benefits policy on August 15. It underlines the party’s commitment to genuine support for people in need and an unrelenting focus on work – including extensions for training and job hunting on some benefits.

ENDS

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