Although I would have liked to tackle the unemployment spin it was too complicated for a media statement so I settled on the following. Something had to be said. National didn't even put up a single supplementary to this question yesterday.
RUSSELL FAIRBROTHER to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: What reports has she received regarding the number of New Zealanders receiving an unemployment benefit?
LABOUR ONLY SCRATCHING SURFACE OF WELFARE PROBLEM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Minister for Social Development Ruth Dyson has announced that the number of people on an unemployment benefit is at a 28 year low. She did not release a companion press statement announcing that the number of people on a sickness or invalid benefit is at an all-time high.
Welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell notes; "In fact twenty eight years ago there were 23,000 people on these benefits. Today there are over 127,000 and the numbers continue to rise unabated.
While people on unemployment benefits tend to respond favourably to a strong job market, those on other benefits do not. People on the sickness, invalid and domestic purposes benefits therefore pose a far greater challenge for government.
While Ms Dyson, who has only recently assumed responsibility for the Ministry of Social Development, boasts in Parliament about 'low' unemployment figures, thousands of people are continuing to enter the benefit system destined to become long term sickness, invalid and domestic purposes beneficiaries."
37 minutes ago