MINISTER CONTRADICTED BY OWN MINISTRY
Friday, May 18, 2007
"The Minister for Social Development, David Benson-Pope, has been contradicted yet again," Lindsay Mitchell, welfare commentator said today. "Unfortunately, this time, by his own Ministry."
"Earlier this week the Minister told the public, 'The government is well on its way to achieving the goal with the Mayors' Task Force for Jobs. That is, to have all 15-19 year-olds in work, education, training or other activities that will contribute to their economic independence and well-being by the end of this year.' "
"I questioned this statement because while the Minister was saying only 1,424 youth are now on the unemployment benefit, Statistics New Zealand claim 27,800 15-19 year-olds are unemployed."
"Today his Ministry has published its Statement of Intent 2007/2008, which shows that the estimated percentage of 15-19 year-olds not in formal education, training, work or looking after children is 6.6% - around 20,000 - and the trend is described as 'steady'."
"The Ministry did not describe the trend as 'decreasing' putting them at odds with their Minister. It would appear that the Ministry is dealing with facts but the Minister, fiction. Pretending 20,000 youths going nowhere don't exist helps nobody."
Update; I send my statements to all MPs. In response to this, one MP said he would ask some questions, another asked to be removed from my distribution list. That is the first time I've had that request. (Both MPs were both from the main parties).
39 minutes ago