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Contractors the real winners in welfare reforms

Social Development Spokesperson
Contractors the real winners in welfare reforms

The government is paying private contractors more to get sole parents off its books than it would cost to boost their long-term career prospects by reinstating support to study, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Paula Bennett has repeatedly told New Zealanders her investment approach to welfare reform is focused on providing support where it will make the biggest difference.

“This is the same woman who is now paying contractors up to $9500 in bonus payments to get sole parents into any job they can, despite that being more than double the cost of the training incentive allowance for a year.

“Thousands of sole parents owe their new-found careers to that study grant, yet in all her investment approach wisdom Ms Bennett scrapped it in 2009.

“Even the contract documents state that ‘sole parents typically face barriers to employment such as transport, childcare and for those who have not participated in employment for some time, lack confidence’.

“Not only do Paula Bennett’s reforms not address those barriers, they also deny many sole parents the opportunity to get the boost they need through education and training.

“The Minister claims she is backing people on government support, but these changes suggest it’s the contractors that’s she’s really supporting.”


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