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Today’s State of the Nation report from the Salvation Army shows the Government is continuing to fail the most vulnerable New Zealanders, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“Today’s report shows the number on the dole are up, the social housing wait list has tripled, and seven out of nine child poverty indicators are worse.

“It also highlights worrying increases in children affected by violence. This just isn’t good enough. The government urgently needs to build on the work that National did around family violence while in government.

“The number of Kiwis on the dole is up 27,000 under this Government and today’s report supports our view that not enough is being done to support young people and jobseekers into work. This isn’t surprising after the Government failed to deliver on the Prime Minister’s commitment of 4,000 Mana in Mahi places for young unemployed Kiwis.

“It is also hugely concerning to see that food hardship continues to grow with the government handing out record numbers of food grants, on top of the Salvation Army also handing out more food parcels than they did when National was in government.

“This report shows the consequences of failing to deliver on your promises when it comes to supporting the most vulnerable Kiwis.

“National believes best way out of poverty and dependency is through work.

“We want people to be in charge of their own lives which means supporting them into work so they can earn their own income and aren’t forced to ask for handouts.

“A National Government would give people opportunities to get ahead under their own steam.”

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