Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be

The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.

"Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people were on benefits in the past year.

“That figure would be closer to 80,000 if 1500 people a week were getting jobs.

"On top of that her official figures show that in more than 4300 cases of people having their benefits cut it was because they failed their obligations to Work and Income - not because they had found paid work.

“By the time you factor in another 7000 people who stopped getting the benefit because they gave up looking for work and moved overseas and the increasing number of people not receiving the benefit because they qualify for superannuation, then maybe around 3000 people have found sustainable work over that year.

“The discrepancy in the figures points to a situation where people are going into very short-term insecure work and ending up back on the dole queue within weeks - or perhaps within the convenient 90 day ‘fire at will’ period that National put in place just before the welfare reforms.

"That's a regime to keep people and their families poor, insecure and open to exploitation. New Zealand needs a plan that will genuinely lift children out of poverty by giving people decent, sustainable, well-paid work.

“Labour has that plan.”