Getting people back to work is at the heart of Labour’s Social Development policy, Labour Deputy Leader Annette King says.
“Good welfare reform is about getting people into work not about gimmicks and political grandstanding, which is why Labour will make finding Kiwis jobs Work and Income’s primary focus,” Annette King said.
“Kiwis want genuine work. Make-work schemes and punitive sanctions against those who can’t find jobs don’t fix the problem.
“We need to support people back into jobs, and to do that Labour will work intensively with those who need help getting back into the workforce.
“Over the past three years the number of people reliant on benefits has gone up by 60,000 people. These are people who want to work.
“We need to ensure that there is specialised assistance to match the skills people have with appropriate jobs, which is why for young people Labour will use dole payments for apprenticeships in order to get them into training and work.
“Labour’s Social Development policy is about making real changes that will benefit those trying to find work and New Zealand as a whole. Labour’s Social Development policy will also work hand in hand with our children’s policy and our Community and Voluntary Sector policy which is also being released today.
“We respect the fact that looking after children is real work and that people reliant on the Domestic Purposes Benefit need real assistance into training and work.
“Labour will reinstate the Training Incentive Allowance, so that we can get people into training which will result in them obtaining better jobs and being more financially able to support their children in the long-run.
“Labour will also ensure that grandparents who have custody of their grandchildren receive the same level of support for children in their care as is paid to foster parents.
“Under the last Labour Government benefit numbers fell. We know our approach to getting people off benefits works,” Annette King said.