We expect the truth about the economy from our Government – not economy with the truth. Of course politicians, of whatever hue, are going to attempt to spin statistics to their political advantage. I’m relaxed about that. Telling blatant lies about statistics is another matter.
During the last year, employment fell by 53,000 or 2.4 percent. But Paula Bennett and the National-led Government chose to do nothing to create employment, and now blame the horrendously high unemployment figure on a few returning New Zealanders and immigrants.
Unemployment has hit a ten year high of 168,000, or 7.3 percent of the labour force, according to the December 2009 Household Labour Force Survey released today. This is far worse than the 6.8% or 6.9% that many commentators were forecasting. How different it could have been if the Government had been prepared to buy into the Green New Deal package proposed by the Greens.
Four years ago, Bay of Plenty meatworker Johnny Taewa tragically died of the occupational disease leptospirosis. His widow Cathy has been told she was not only ineligible for a benefit, but won’t be eligible for five years, because the lump sum payment she received from ACC in respect of his death is treated as income.
As if it isn’t miserable enough being on a benefit at Christmas time, Paula Bennett has decided to put the boot into beneficiaries. Wouldn’t it be a better idea for the Government to actually create some jobs for beneficiaries through a programme like the Green New Deal? Or would that be too hard?
Shunting injured people off ACC onto welfare benefits where they may languish for years rather than rehabilitating them into employment is a false saving – as bad for the economy as it is for the injured person.