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Job Destruction at MSD one week before Summit

Job Destruction at MSD one week before Summit a shocker: Greens

Confirmation today that the Government plans to cut at least 500 jobs from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is a shocker.

"It is incomprehensible that at a time of rapidly rising unemployment the Government is slashing jobs at MSD as one of its first actions," Green Party Social Development Spokesperson Sue Bradford said today.

"Work and Income is going to need more experienced case managers, not fewer, and the social policy infrastructure behind income support and Child Youth Family is going to be needed more than ever at a time of increasing deprivation.

"It makes no sense to make MSD a target for job cuts of between 5 and 10 percent. Unemployment is now at 105,000 according to the latest Household Labour Force Survey and all predictions are that it will keep rising rapidly.

"It is even more ironic that Minister Paula Bennett is confirming plans to reduce staff the week before John Key's Employment Summit on 27 February," said Mrs Bradford.

In announcing the Summit last month, Mr Key said: "My Government is determined to show decisive leadership to protect New Zealanders' jobs as we head into tougher economic times," .

'Yeah right' Mr Key. Wholesale redundancies of up to 1000 jobs at MSD are not job protection - they are job destruction.

"The Green Party calls on the Government to urgently reconsider this first portent of the kind of slash and burn approach to the public service which had such calamitous results in the 1980s state sector reforms.

"News of the potential loss of over 30 jobs from the National Library last week and 500 or more from MSD this week undermines any sense of a Government keen to mount a constructive response to the challenges of recession.

"National is, instead, sending a chilling message to all Kiwi workers.

"MSD should be expanding and improving its services to unemployed and redundant workers at this time, not placing hundreds of its own staff on the scrapheap," said Mrs Bradford.


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