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Dunne: Labour WFF extension the ultimate poverty trap

Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu
Leader of UnitedFuture

7 November 2011

Dunne: Labour WFF extension the ultimate poverty trap

Labour’s Working for Families policy is no more than the ultimate poverty trap, UnitedFuture leader and Ohariu MP Peter Dunne said today.

“Labour designed Working for Families in 2004 to assist low income working families, struggling to make ends meet in the workforce – Helen Clark and Michael Cullen were unyielding on this and for good reason” he said.

“Their idea was to incentivise people to work by making sure that people lift the lot of their families and their children by getting into employment, rather than being trapped on a benefit.

“That was perfectly justifiable social policy.

“However, by extending the policy Labour is no longer focusing on lifting working families out of poverty, but potentially locking more beneficiary and low income families even more deeply into greater dependence on the system.

“That is a backward – not to mention fiscally costly – step.

“All that will do is trap many of them more permanently into the benefit system because it will provide less incentive and opportunity than ever for people to move into employment.

“Working for Families already penalises families as their income rises, through the abatement system.

“Labour seems content to ignore that by focusing instead on locking low income earners into ever increasing dependency.

That will do nothing to promote human dignity or provide long term opportunity for children,” Mr Dunne said.

ENDS

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