Support people into jobs, not the benefit

Today’s changes to benefits will only help those on welfare to stand still amidst the cost of living crisis, emphasising the need for the Government to do more to support people into jobs, National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“The only long-term path out of hardship is a stable job. Yet despite record low unemployment, more people are on the benefit for longer while businesses across New Zealand are crying out for workers.

“There are 116,000 people stuck on the unemployment benefit long-term – an almost 50,000 increase under Labour. The longer someone is on benefit, the harder it becomes for them to reconnect with the workforce.

“Worse still, Labour has allowed the number of children growing up in benefit-dependent households to increase by 36,000 under their watch.

“Even Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni acknowledged that children growing up in benefit-dependent homes have worse outcomes compared to their peers.

“If Labour doesn’t do something urgently to bring benefit dependency down now, they risk consigning an entire generation of Kiwis to a life of subsistence.”