More action needed to get New Zealanders into jobs

The news the unemployment rate is 4.9% does not excuse the Government from taking further action to help New Zealanders into jobs, says National’s Social Development and Employment Spokesperson, Louise Upston.

“While a better than expected survey, there are still 213,359 New Zealanders who are on the Jobseeker benefit. That’s too many people without a job to support themselves and their families.”

“The Government should immediately implement National’s JobStart policy. This would see businesses that hire new staff receive a $10,000 payment and encourage new job opportunities for Kiwis.”

“I am pleased Minister Sepuloni has accepted my invitation to brief her on JobStart and I look forward to working constructively with the Government to help reduce the impact of being without a job.”

“Implementing JobStart is even more important given the Government’s central jobs policy, an extension to the Flexi-Wage scheme, still hasn’t been delivered. The Prime Minister promised the extension would be implemented prior to Christmas but the Government confirmed last week the expanded scheme isn’t ready.”

“Since the Prime Minister first proposed the Flexi-Wage extension, over 20,000 more people have moved onto the unemployment benefit.

The Government must act with urgency. The longer Kiwis are without work, the harder it is for them to get back onto their own two feet. Without more determined action from the Government, a growing numbers of Kiwis will struggle to make ends meet and find themselves in hardship.”