INDEPENDENT NEWS

Maharey The Big Loser In The Budget

Published: Thu 15 Jun 2000 05:10 PM
Maharey The Big Loser In The Budget
Thursday 15th Jun 2000
Dr Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare
“Examination of the Welfare and Employment initiatives announced in the Budget reveals that the Minister of Social Services and Employment has failed to deliver on his promises,” says ACT Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman.
“After 9 years of trumpeting that he was “going to reinvent the Welfare State”, Mr Maharey has won no new funding for his key portfolio areas. Worse, apart from scrapping the community wage scheme that was effective in moving people into work, the Minister clearly has no vision or policy of his own for welfare. This budget is a damning indictment of a weak Minister who has developed a track record for being all talk and no action,” she said.
“The Department of Work and Income base lines have barely changed. After 9 years of Mr Maharey’s grandstanding on poverty, there is no increase for the over 300,000 people on working age benefits. And that is in spite of Mr Anderton’s election promise of an extra $20 a week for families on a benefit,” said Muriel Newman.
“While the Minister has proclaimed he would help more people into jobs, there is no new funding in the budget for work schemes. Like the deck chairs on the Titanic, the Minister has re-shuffled employment programmes, but there is no new money to help those hundreds of thousands of people who are stuck on a benefit, to move off,” she said.
“It is remarkable that this Labour Government, that has for years campaigned against the previous Government on poverty issues, portraying itself as the defender of the poor, has totally disregarded the reputation of the Minister of Social Services, Mr Maharey,” she said.
“No fancy statements or recycled schemes can hide the fact that Mr Maharey has been hung out to dry, ” said Muriel Newman.
ENDS.
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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