INDEPENDENT NEWS

Steve Maharey: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Published: Wed 15 Nov 2000 03:31 PM
The Government has made it clear it won't lift a finger to address the hardship its economic mismanagement has created for those on low and fixed incomes, National's Belinda Vernon said today.
"Mr Maharey's statements in Parliament today show he has no interest in helping those people who are facing a Christmas with 3 percent inflation, painfully high petrol prices and more New Zealanders in need of social service assistance than ever before.
"The Minister seems unwilling to accept simple facts. The Auckland City Mission is predicting a 50 percent increase in demand for emergency packages - from 680 last Christmas to more than 1,000 this Christmas. Food prices have gone up 2.9 percent.
"Mr Maharey may be able to ignore these realities, but it isn't so easy for those living their lives as a day-to-day struggle. The reality is that Labour's bungled efforts at economic management have stolen Christmas from some people.
"Many will end up sacrificing a few of the special treats they could normally enjoy in the Christmas season. Higher airfares and petrol prices will force many others to abandon plans to travel to see family and friends.
"The festive season has got less festive after this year of Labour Government. Mr Maharey's refusal to address, or even acknowledge, this situation shows that the Labour Government is not there for many of the people it purports to represent," Belinda Vernon said.
Ends

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