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My Door’s Always Open, Mr Key

Posted on 24 Jul 2009

ACT New Zealand Welfare Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas today called for a genuine rethink of how we deliver welfare services in New Zealand in light of startling figures showing that - since the introduction of Working for Families in 2004 - the ratio of workers to beneficiaries has steadily dropped to a point where it now takes the efforts of almost three working New Zealanders to support two beneficiaries."

"No economy can sustain such an imbalance – especially at a time when it is difficult enough for working New Zealanders to provide for just themselves and their families," Sir Roger said.

"Unfortunately, the Government is completely unwilling to address this issue or even consider possible solutions – highlighted when Mr Key dismissed a recent report on welfare published by the New Zealand Business Roundtable out of hand, labelling it 'draconian' without even reading it.

"Meanwhile, Labour continues to push its tired old barrow – now demanding that the welfare burden on hard-working New Zealanders be increased by making it even easier for people to receive a benefit.

"The problems facing our economy, especially those around welfare, need to be tackled with real and innovative solutions – not by Labour's old chestnut of spending ever more money for little gain, or by National simply sticking its head in the sand.

"This Government is so focussed on staying in office for a second term that it is following in Labour's footsteps and is only prepared to do what they think will retain or win votes.

"This has left ACT as the only Party that can honestly say it has the innovative policies and real solutions to move the country forward and create more wealth for every New Zealander.

"That's why I am suggesting Mr Key, Mr English and Mr Goff take a break and meet in an endeavour to come up with solutions. If they are bereft of ideas - as I suspect they are - then I am happy to supply a basic policy document to get the ball rolling," Sir Roger said.

ENDS

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