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Nine years of progress undone by Labour

Simon Bridges - Leader of the Opposition

23 January 2020

After years of improvement under National, benefit numbers are now back to the heights last seen during the Global Financial Crisis, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“Today’s welfare statistics show the number of Kiwis on the dole has risen by 27,000 since the Government took office, with almost 150,000 now on the Jobseeker Benefit.

“The previous National Government was creating 10,000 jobs a month. Under this Government that’s fallen to just 1000. It clear that Kiwis are doing it tough under Labour.

“National worked hard to rebuild the economy after the Global Financial Crisis and get Kiwis into jobs. By the time we left office the economy was booming and the number of Kiwis on the dole was at some of the lowest levels ever seen.

“This Government has undone all that progress in less than a term, with benefit numbers spiralling out of control on Carmel Sepuloni’s watch.

“Thousands of vulnerable Kiwis are now also struggling to find jobs with the economy showing sluggish growth and no plan from the Government to deliver the growth New Zealand needs.

“Recent figures obtained by National show many jobseekers now go months without talking to a case manager about employment. That’s completely unacceptable. If the Prime Minister is serious about tackling poverty her Government needs to get the economy moving.

“National is aspirational for New Zealanders and will set targets to reduce the number of people on benefits. Our Social Services Discussion Document shows we’re the party with the ideas and ambition to get Kiwis back into work.”


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