Social Development Spokesperson
03 March 2013
Records reveal Bennett’s dirty little secret
The number of Kiwis on a benefit has reached record levels during Paula Bennett’s ‘reign’, something she is now hoping to hide by merging benefit categories, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
Ms Bennett continues to boast about the ‘success’ of her various welfare reforms, but the facts tell a rather different story.
“According to her own department’s figures under Ms Bennett’s watch we have seen the highest ever DPB numbers, the highest ever sickness benefit numbers, and the highest ever invalid benefit numbers since records began in 1940.
“She continues to target DPB recipients without actually doing anything meaningful for them, instead cutting things like the training incentive allowance.
“Take the case of one DPB mum I spoke to last week. She has been looking for work for three years - in recent times applying for more than 20 jobs.
“She has had some part time work such as cleaning, but, after paying babysitting costs, was taking home just $8.50 an hour.
“Between January 2009 and January 2012, the number of people on the DPB rose by 13.2 per cent, but between January 2009 and January 2012, the number of people on the unemployment benefit rose by 82 per cent.
“That reeks of a Government dumping on DPB mums in an effort to show it is ‘acting’ to mask its ‘inaction’ on employment and job creation.
“Rather than taking a purely sanction based approach, Paula Bennett should be tackling the real issues.
“Rather than attempting to hide those issues, she should be addressing them.
“Her welfare reforms will change benefit categories so we will no longer be able to compare her record to past years. That means she will go down in history as having presided over historic highs.
“That is her dirty little secret. It’s a failure no one should be proud of.”