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Social Development stats don’t add up

Today’s figures released by the Ministry of Social Development show that despite a drop in the number of beneficiaries, fewer people are going into paid employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.

 “It should be of significant concern to the Minister that there has been a decrease in the numbers of people who are going into employment or full-time study when they come off the benefit.

“The Minister is bragging about the number of people on the benefit falling below 280,000.

“This shows that Anne Tolley is out of touch if she thinks a reduction in benefit numbers without any evidence of improved employment outcomes is a positive result.

“A drop in beneficiary numbers can only be deemed a success if families are in fact better off.

“We see increasing signs of poverty on a daily basis all around the country and we’re hearing more and more about families who are surviving on next to nothing.

“These latest figures highlight the inadequacy of current reporting methods by the Ministry of Social Development.

“More information needs to be available about what happens to those who come off benefits.

“Improved beneficiary numbers shouldn’t be about making the government look good. It’s about ensuring families are simply better off,” says Carmel Sepuloni.