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Greens Get It Wrong Again

Tue, 03 Sep 2002

Greens Get It Wrong Again

In Parliament today, Green MP Sue Bradford asked the Minister of Social Services and Employment,' What is the Government doing to end regional and ethnic disparities in the delivery of the Special Benefit?'

The background to this question involves claims by beneficiary advocates that Maori are not receiving their fair share of the Special Benefit. Mr Maharey was able to assure Ms Bradford that Maori receive nationally 30% of benefits and 27% of the Special Benefit.

"Given that Maori make up only 14% of New Zealand's population, it is surprising that Ms Bradford would infer that inequities in the delivery of benefits are disadvantaging Maori," observes Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB. " In fact it is quite disturbing that the percentage of Maori receiving the DPB for single parents is a staggering 39%. It is even more worrying that in the 16-24 year-old age group that percentage climbs to 50%."

Mitchell suggests, "Perhaps the question Ms Bradford should be asking is what is the Minister doing to end ethnic disparities in the need for the DPB?"

Lindsay Mitchell
Petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB
e-mail dandl.mitchell@clear.net.nz

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