Thursday’s budget announcements show no innovation in getting New Zealanders back to work, National’s Social Development Spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“The Government has thrown $400 million of borrowed money at expanding the Ministry of Social Development’s employment support without detailing how many people they will support into work, or what will change from last year.

“Their pest eradication plan has more detail around jobs than Carmel Sepuloni does for MSD. Labour has an appalling track record in getting people off the dole and Jobseeker numbers continued to increased year on year after she took over, with an increase of 27,000 before Covid-19.  

“Instead of trying something new, the Government has thrown borrowed money after bad ideas. The Government should have spent money in partnership with the private sector industries and local communities who know where the jobs are and how to help people into them.

“The announcements can just be seen as a cut and paste job from last year’s failed initiatives including:

  • Investing $250 million into more frontline staff, despite not having yet recruited the frontline staff they funded last Budget.
  • Putting $10 million more into the failed Mana in Mahi scheme, which has had more people drop out than complete.
  • Strengthening employment support for disabled people, despite data from their annual review showing less than 5 per cent of people got into work through the programme funded last year.

“After the GFC National managed to get almost 30,000 people off the dole and back into the driver’s seat of their lives.

“We are the party who has the plan and track record to get people off the dole and get New Zealanders working again.”

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