(National Party media release)

Labour’s economic mismanagement is pushing more people into benefit dependency, with the number of people on Jobseeker increasing in 14 of the last 15 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 8,337 people have gone onto Jobseeker since the end of April, bringing the total number to over 176,000. That’s enough to fill Eden Park more than three times over.

“There are now 55,400 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.

“New Zealand is the only country in the Asia-Pacific region in recession and both ANZ and Westpac are predicting it will be a double-dip recession meaning little to no growth for the foreseeable future.

With Jobseeker numbers now rising relentlessly, week after week, it’s clear Labour has blown a golden opportunity to reduce benefit dependency and all the social and economic problems that come with it.

“A National government will get the economy growing again and reverse the worrying increase in Kiwis moving onto the Jobseeker benefit.

“National’s Welfare that Works policy will see more Kiwis in jobs and the advantages that come from being employed.

“Under National’s plan, young Jobseekers will 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.”