New Zealand Labour Party

NZ’s jobless poverty ranking appalling

An OECD report highlighting New Zealand’s third highest jobless poverty ranking points out that the Government isn’t following up on people once they go off a benefit, adding to concerns many may not actually be moving into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says.

“The OECD’s economic survey calls for the Government to better monitor and report on what happens to former Job Seeker beneficiaries. 

“This is in contrast to what we hear from the Social Development Minister each quarter. That’s when the public are fed a line about thousands of people moving off benefits and into work.

“In the year ending March 2015, 11,693 people had their Jobseeker benefit cancelled. The Ministry, however, says it has no means of identifying whether or not any of these people have got work.

“So how do we know how many of these people and their families are not only jobless but without any income at all? The Government is being disingenuous by choosing not to collate and report this information.

“Let’s hope it takes the report’s recommendations on board and improves support for some of our most disadvantaged so they have better long-term outcomes.

“Its current approach to welfare reform is not only giving us an appalling ranking for jobless poverty in the OECD, but also making this an entrenched part of life for some New Zealanders,” Carmel Sepuloni says.