Louise Upston - Social Development
23 January 2020
Some beneficiaries are going more than three months without having a meeting to discuss their job search, which shows
the Government isn’t doing enough to help Kiwis find work, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston
“Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has dropped the ball on welfare, and vulnerable New Zealanders are paying
“The number of New Zealanders on the dole has skyrocketed to 143,000 under Labour, and the number of meetings between
beneficiaries and their case managers to talk about employment has nosedived from more than 200,000 meetings every three
months under the previous Government, to just 90,000 now.
“How can Ms Sepuloni be committed to getting Kiwis into ‘meaningful, sustainable work’ when her department can’t even
meet with them?
“Part of the problem is the Government’s policies are driving up the cost of living, which means case managers have to
devote more time to giving out hardship grants to help struggling Kiwis put food on the table and a roof over their head
rather than working on long-term solutions to get them back on their feet.
“National believes the best route out of poverty is through work. If we want to get more Kiwis off the dole then we’ve
got to ensure they’re getting the support they need.”