“A massive spike in the number beneficiaries shows Labour’s anti-growth policies are slowing the economy and making it easier for people to stay on welfare”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“There was an increase of 14,559 people on a benefit in the last 12 months.
“That is a shocking indictment of Labour’s economic record and a reflection its approach of failing to sanction beneficiaries who don’t comply with their obligations.
The number of New Zealanders on a main benefit has grown to 291,969, or 9.7 per cent of the working-age population.
“Even more damning is an 11.2 per cent increase in the number of people on Jobseeker Support – that’s 13,720 more than this time last year.
“Uncertainty over a capital gains tax, industry-wide collective bargaining and foreign investment and a higher minimum wage are starting to take their toll on the economy.
“Labour needs to take responsibility for the harm it is doing to the economy.
“It is completely unacceptable that nearly 300,000 New Zealanders are on a benefit when some industries are desperate for workers. If people can work, they should.
“The Government should alleviate genuine hardship, but Labour’s anti-growth policies will see many more New Zealanders dependent on handouts, rather than living productive, independent lives.”