Government must focus on getting Kiwis into jobs

Changes to benefit abatement thresholds aren’t enough to help struggling Kiwis get ahead, there needs to be a greater focus on supporting our beneficiaries into jobs, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“There are still more than 200,000 people on Jobseeker Support who don’t have a job, equivalent to entire city of Kiwis without an income to support themselves and their families to get ahead.”

Since Labour came into office in 2017 more than 80,000 New Zealanders have moved onto Jobseeker.

“While the Government has shovelled hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into schemes supposedly aimed at supporting people into jobs, not enough is being done to make sure this funding actually delivers new jobs.

“Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni doesn’t even know how many jobs her Government’s employment initiatives will create, with many programmes slow to get underway. The $50 million Māori Trades and Training fund for example has created only four jobs since July 2020.

“That’s not good enough.

“Labour promised New Zealanders they had a plan to create jobs prior to the election. But months down the track all we’ve got are working groups who won’t be making recommendations until later this year, leaving more Kiwis languishing on benefits when they’d rather be working.

“Enterprising Kiwi businesses, not endless bureaucratic working groups, are the true creators of jobs. This is why National proposed JobStart, it incentivises and rewards businesses with $10,000 when they provide someone with a job.

“The Government needs to get its act together and start demonstrating results if it is to deliver on the jobs plan it promised New Zealanders.”