The latest Household Labour Force Survey which shows some 30,000 Kiwis have given up looking for work has really put the wind up Paula Bennett, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.
“A flurry of media statements released by Ms Bennett today was obviously designed to take the heat off the Government’s failure to create jobs. All it has done is reinforce the adage that where there’s one statistic there’s also another.
“Ms Bennett has cherry-picked figures in an attempt to show unemployment has dropped in some regions.
“The truth is her welfare reforms aren’t working. The number of New Zealanders on the unemployment benefit has gone up in the last quarter, and the number of New Zealanders without jobs has grown exponentially since National took office.
“In the regions Ms Bennett has picked out – the central North Island, Waikato, and Southern – only one, Southern, saw a drop in people on the unemployment benefit in the three months to December last year. However, the number of people on the benefit in the same region since December 2008 (when National took office) is up 91.1 per cent.
“Unemployment benefit numbers in the central region rose by 7.1 per cent over the last quarter and 98.7 per cent between December 2008 and December 2012.
“In Waikato the figures are 24.8 per cent for September to December 2012 and 65.9 per cent since this government took office.
“None of that says ‘success’ to me.
“Over 14,000 people went on to some form of benefit for the first time in the last quarter.
“This government’s welfare reforms are not working because there are no jobs for people to move into. That is a reality that no amount of spin can cover up.”