Jobseeker benefit numbers remain sky high

Today’s figures show Jobseeker numbers are still incredibly high despite labour shortages in almost every sector, National's Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“Weekly benefit statistics from the Ministry of Social Development show over 170,000 New Zealander’s rely on the Jobseeker benefit to make ends meet.  

“Labour has spent the last week either denying there was a problem or patting themselves on the back.

“But the evidence is clear – despite businesses crying out for workers, there are now over 50,000 more people on the Jobseeker benefit than when Labour took office.

“Greater accountability is needed in the welfare system. Consequences, including sanctions, should be imposed where jobseekers repeatedly fail to comply with their obligations.

“While Labour squanders a golden opportunity to connect job seekers with vacancies, National has a plan to break vicious dependency cycles early in adulthood.

“National’s Welfare that Works policy sees young jobseekers receive a proper needs assessment, a plan to address any barriers to work and job coaching from community organisations.

“Unlike Labour, we simply do not accept some people are too hard to help. Instead, we will work with them one by one to enable them to reap the independence and opportunities a job provides.”