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Benefit Dependency Surges Under Labour

Today’s quarterly benefit data release is further confirmation that Labour have engineered a benefit dependency crisis in New Zealand, National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“At a time when businesses across the country are crying out for more workers, it will surprise many that almost 1 in 9 working age adults are receiving a benefit, and over 185,000 Kiwis are on Jobseeker Support.

“This represents an entire city the size of Hamilton who are dependent on the state to support themselves and their children.

“Since Labour came to power, the number of people spending longer than a year on Jobseeker has increased by over 50 per cent.

“The longer someone spends on benefit, the harder it becomes to get back into the workforce. This leads to vicious cycles of dependency which consigns generations to a life of misery.

“New Zealand’s benefit dependency crisis ultimately stems from Labour’s failure to support those on welfare long-term into jobs.

“Unlike Labour, National believes in the capacity of New Zealanders to stand on their own two feet and achieve their potential.

“Much more effort must be made to help those who have fallen on hard times to move off welfare and into work. That means individualised employment support and the right incentives in place.

“Labour must act urgently to deal with this crisis, rather than squander these New Zealander’s potential.”

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