“As long as the Government has its hands over its ears screaming “la la la” about benefit numbers, they will keep rising,” says ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“There are 365,937 working-age people receiving a main benefit as at the end of March 2021. That's an 18 percent increase on the year before. 

“Carmel Sepuloni told Newstalk ZB this morning “the numbers speak for themselves.” They sure do.

“It’s no coincidence that when you remove sanctions and obligations and raise the amount people receive that numbers increase.

“In the Budget last week the Government threw a whopping $3.8 billion extra at benefits with a permanent increase to the main benefit.

“It is harmful and doing more damage than good. 

“ACT has positive plans to use welfare as a hand up. The Government has an opportunity to make people’s lives better but it seems more interested in keeping families in a cycle of dependency.”