“Kiwis are being left to rot on welfare because of Labour’s low expectations for beneficiaries”, says ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“A culture of victimhood is perpetuating Labour’s welfare approach rather than the belief that people can make a difference in their own lives.

“The number of work-related benefit sanctions in the last quarter of 2021 were less than half what they were pre-COVID-19.

“106,000 New Zealanders are on Jobseeker Support and classified as work-ready and businesses are crying out for labour. There should be no excuse for them to turn down suitable work.

“I asked Carmel Sepuloni in Parliament today whether it was fair to use hardworking Kiwis’ taxes to pay for all these work-ready beneficiaries at a time when many industries desperately need these workers.

“She instead mockingly used air quotes to poke fun at “hardworking New Zealanders”.

“ACT doesn’t think it’s a laughing matter. And neither do the businesses on the brink of shutting down due to understaffing.

“If someone on Jobseeker Support doesn’t have an exemption for health reasons and refuses to fill a suitable job vacancy, they shouldn’t be able to stay on a full benefit with no consequences.

“It’s simply not acceptable to hardworking Kiwis that there are 106,000 work-ready beneficiaries when so many industries are crying out for workers."

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