INDEPENDENT NEWS

Worrying ignorance displayed on welfare

Published: Mon 30 Oct 2006 08:47 AM
Worrying ignorance displayed on welfare
National Party Welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins says David Benson-Pope has shown a worrying ignorance about the number of people collecting various benefits.
“This Minister made an absolute hash of his half-baked bid to hide the U-turn on Labour’s election promise of a universal benefit.
“First he admitted not knowing how many people were collecting the sickness or invalids benefits, and then had to make an embarrassing apology after claiming there’d been a decrease of 10,000 people collecting the DPB in the past month, when in fact the decrease was just 265.
“Here’s a Minister who doesn’t do his homework and when he doesn’t know the answer, just makes it up.”
For the benefit of Mr Benson-Pope, Ms Collins has released figures showing the number of people collecting the sickness and invalids’ benefits has soared to record highs.
“Some 125,726 New Zealanders are now collecting either the sickness or invalids benefits. In 1999, the year Labour came to office, there were only 85,065 people on of those two benefits.
“Labour has done very little to help people on these benefits. The flagship PATHS programme has been an expensive flop, while other taxpayer-funded pilot programmes are coming and going without any formal evaluation,” says Ms Collins.
Ends

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