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Unemployed the unspoken losers in the Budget

Published: Fri 21 May 2010 02:49 PM
Unemployed the unspoken losers in the Budget
The unspoken losers from this Budget over the next five years are those Kiwis who can’t find work, Labour‘s social development spokesperson Annette King said today.
“But no-one from this government wants to talk about it,” Annette King said.
“It’s not surprising because the Budget provides little help or comfort for New Zealanders wanting to work.
“Most fair minded people include in their measure of success of any Budget the stated plans of the government to bring down the rate of unemployment as well as growing jobs.
“What this Budget forecasts however is the number of those on the Unemployment Benefit goes up this year and next to 80,000 and even after five years is still two times higher than when National became government.
“In five years 60,000 are expected to still be on the UB (see attached). The total number who can’t find work is forecast to be about 145,000.
“It’s not good enough for the Government to accept that about 145,000 people and their families have to put their lives on hold for years to come. That attitude comes with a big human cost
“This approach is in stark contrast to the one being taken across the Tasman, where the Government is working hard to get people into work.
“Australia’s forecasts point to a decreasing unemployment rate down to 4.75 per cent. This means that in 2012 the gap between the rates will be about 1.5 per cent (6.2 per cent in New Zealand and 4.75 per cent in Australia).
“It’s no wonder we’re falling behind. For example, Paula Bennett is taking the axe to the Training Incentive Allowance over the next five years, chopping it by $8 million.
“This denies an effective avenue to support beneficiaries getting back into work – as it provided for Ms Bennett herself when she couldn't get a job.
“This along with drastic cuts to early childhood education will put part time work out of reach for many people, particularly women.
“Even where funding has not been directly cut the investment is half-hearted at best. Paula Bennett’s funding for 6000 extra Job Ops places for unemployed youth is a drop in the bucket, when the figures tell us there are 60,000 young people out of work right now.
“And even those lucky enough to get onto the scheme will be wary of how long it will last. When Paula Bennett describes the scheme as ‘not designed to create permanent positions’ she is admitting Jobs Ops’ main role is to keep the unemployed off the books by recycling them through various government programmes.
“This government is not doing nearly enough to address unemployment. Making sure the rate of unemployment remains relatively high ramps up competition for jobs and can be one way a government can keep downward pressure on wages. It’s up to John Key to prove he’s not that cynical,” Annette King said.
ENDS

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