INDEPENDENT NEWS

Information Shows WINZ Split Ill-Advised

Published: Fri 14 Jul 2000 05:29 PM
Government's Sly Release Of Information Shows WINZ Split Ill-Advised
"A dump of Ministerial papers on WINZ late this afternoon shows the Government's swimming against the current with its push to separate the department into two sections," says National's Work and Income spokesperson Belinda Vernon.
"The documents show that the models the Government is considering have numerous risks including increased costs by up to $7million, reduced service levels, higher costs for beneficiaries and a lack of co-ordination between case managers.
"The papers make it clear that WINZ staff do not want to see a split between income and employment services. Those staff can see that the one-stop-shop approach works. But the Government is bullying them towards a change for purely ideological reasons.
"That's bad Government, pure and simple.
"It's ironic that this Government, which claims to be in favour of openness and transparency, has kept these documents secreted away until late on a Friday afternoon in recess week.
"Mr Maharey should be ashamed of the Government's plans - and he's revealing that through this attempt to starve the issue of the oxygen of public scrutiny. The timing of this release is a blatant attempt to suppress discussion of these issues in the media and in parliament," Belinda Vernon said.
Ends

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