Grant Robertson’s comments have confirmed the Labour-led Government’s true approach to social welfare, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“Mr Robertson yesterday said that ‘people who want to work should be able to’. Carmel Sepuloni then indicated in Parliament that she agreed with him. This just underlines Labour’s attitude that being on benefit can be a lifestyle choice.

“National believes those who can work, should work.

“The numbers show the Government’s going soft on social welfare. Since the Labour-led Government came into office, there are 15,500 more people on a jobseeker benefit and 3,300 fewer sanctions being imposed. The clue is in the name: jobseekers are supposed to be seeking jobs.

“Labour can’t claim to be the party of the workers if it’s supporting people who simply don’t want to work and expect to rely on the generosity of the taxpayer.

“Working is the best route out of poverty, and gives people the opportunity to live better lives.

“At the end of the day, benefits are funded by taxpayers’ money for the purpose of helping people who need it to get back on their feet. The funds should be targeted towards those who do need them, rather than those who can work, but won’t.”

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