(National Party media release)

Labour’s economic mismanagement is pushing more people into benefit dependency, with the number of people on Jobseeker increasing in 13 of the last 14 weeks, National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson, Louise Upston says.

“The latest benefit figures released by the Ministry of Social Development show an extra 8,000 people have gone onto Jobseeker since the end of April, bringing the total number to almost 176,000. That’s enough to fill Eden Park more than three times over. There are now 55,000 more Kiwis on the Jobseeker benefit than when Labour took office, despite the economy struggling through widespread workforce shortages for an extended period. “For the past two years, businesses up and down the country have been crying out for workers but Labour has either been unable – or unwilling – to do what it takes to get people off welfare and into work. 

“With New Zealand now the only country in the Asia-Pacific region in recession, and Treasury forecasting unemployment to rise further, it’s clear Labour has blown a golden opportunity to reduce benefit dependency and all the social and economic problems that come with it. 

“It’s clear the Government won’t take responsibility for entrenching 1 in 10 working age New Zealanders on benefits: it’s time for a change. National’s Welfare that Works plan will see young Jobseekers receive a plan to address barriers to work, job coaching from community organisations and a proper needs assessment to help break this entrenched cycle of dependency.”