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More Evidence People Are Hurting

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Annette King
Annette King

Today's confirmation an average of 1100 additional people a week are continuing to sign up on the dole is further evidence New Zealand families are hurting, Labour Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.

"The Government today announced that the number of people collecting the unemployment benefit rose by 4412 in July, and now totals 55,272. There are now a total of 315,665 collecting main benefits.

"The numbers signing up for the unemployment benefit have consistently increased by an average of about 1100 a week for at least the last four months.

"If the trend continues there will be around 80,000 people collecting the unemployment benefit by the end of the year," Annette King says.

"This, in fact, is what the Ministry of Social Development forecast at the beginning of July, according to information released to me this week under the Official Information Act by Paula Bennett.

"Yet the Minister told Parliament this week it would take another year - until December 2010 - for numbers on the unemployment benefit to reach 83,000.

"These are two quite different scenarios - one involving about 1100 people a week signing up for the dole and the other predicting a slowdown to 400 a week signing up," Annette King says.

"Labour is calling on the Minister to explain which is the accurate forecast. Clearly the announcement that 300 extra frontline staff are to be employed suggests the predictions aren't positive.

"Today's announcement follows yesterday's release of the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) for the June quarter, revealing that a net 2000 people a week are losing their jobs and unemployment has leapt to six per cent.

"The HLFS revealed a total of 138,000 people are classed as unemployed. Labour believes the Government is not doing nearly enough to stimulate jobs and training opportunities for New Zealanders," Annette King says.

"We are also reiterating our call for the Government to urgently review eligibility for its Restart package for those who lose their jobs. It set aside $50 million for Restart over a two year period, but has spent only $2.7 million on it to date."

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