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National’s Job Cuts Already Starting To Bite As Unemployment Rises

Unemployment is on the rise and it’s only going to get worse under this Government, Labour finance spokesperson Barbara Edmonds said.

Stats NZ figures show the unemployment rate grew to 4.3 percent in the March quarter from 4 percent in the December quarter.

“This is the second rise in unemployment under this Government, it’s worse than expected and a worrying trend,” Barbara Edmonds said.

“However, it won’t be a surprise to the 12,000 more people who are looking for work while costs continue to rise.

“The 2024 Financial Stability Report also out today show more people are unable to pay their mortgage, residential insurance is more expensive and more businesses are failing with Centrix figures showing the highest number of monthly business liquidations in nine years.

“The National Government’s approach to laying people off across the board, without worrying about what it means for them or the economy is in stark contrast to the approach of the previous Government.

“Labour supports people into work, ensures there are pathways for those who are struggling or who need a hand getting a job, and has a track record of investing in our trades through the apprenticeship boost, mana in mahi and other successful programmes which saw many people stay in work despite the economic shock of the pandemic.

“What National forgets is every person laid off have lives to fulfil and bills to pay. They are somebodies mum, dad, auntie, brother or friend who will now find it harder to make ends meet.

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“Today they have also ended free and half price public transport, which is yet another cost for 1.6 million New Zealanders or their families.

“The absolute lack of action on the cost of living and ongoing plans to get rid of or reduce access to programmes like free prescriptions and free school lunches, make growing unemployment even tougher news for a lot of people.

“These are choices the Government is making. They can choose to support Kiwis into work, choose to support them with the cost of living like they promised. But we’re seeing a government that’s more focused on itself, than on helping the average New Zealander,” Barbara Edmonds instead.

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