175 000 unemployed ‘national disgrace’
Unemployment has risen to 7.3 per cent, or 175,000 people. Figures released today show the highest unemployment rate in 20 years. Unions and beneficiary groups are outraged.
“This government seems to think a solution to the now 175 000 unemployed is to punish beneficiaries rather than engage in the responsible task of creating opportunities for people” says Chris Zack, from Auckland Action Against Poverty.
“We don't have a benefit dependency problem, we have a job creation problem. The second wave of welfare reforms recently introduced to Parliament is a textbook example of how this government's policies towards beneficiaries are nothing but a cruel distraction from the real problems we have.” [ More ]
CTU: 175000 unemployed deserve support
Council of Trade Unions Secretary Peter Conway says: “There are now 175,000 people unemployed, 294,900 jobless and over 113,000 people looking for more hours at work. This means that we have 400,000 people out of work or looking for more work. This is a national crisis.”
“Longterm unemployment is also growing with almost a third of unemployed people (32 percent) out of work for more than six months, and the number out of work for more than a year almost twice what it was a year ago (21,100 compared to 10,900). People are struggling to find jobs, or enough hours to support their families – they deserve support and deserve a government that cares and is prepared to do something to make jobs a priority.”
“These are not just numbers; they are people, and families. They deserve support and the government needs to give urgent attention to the jobs plight now.” [ More ]
Beneficiary Advocacy Federation: Unemployment at a 20 year high!
Kay Brereton from the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of NZ says that “The Government needs to step up and help New Zealanders in these tough times. Unemployment is at it's highest this century and the governments response is to reform welfare.”
“The Welfare reforms are framed on the premise that the unemployed are not trying hard enough to find jobs. The reality is regular redundancies and businesses closing, employers posting signs outside saying 'sorry no jobs'. The reality is families struggling to pay the rent, to pay the power and to put food on the table.” [ More ]
FIRST Union: Unemployment figures a national disgrace
“The government is asleep at the wheel on jobs. Workers in manufacturing and other sectors are paying for government inaction through constant job losses,” said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union.
“National has sat on its hands for too long. It needs to urgently take ownership of the jobs crisis. Sitting back and hoping for the best is not acceptable.”
“Every supermarket or department store that our union visits will have workers actively seeking more hours because their incomes, from working less than 40 hours a week, are not enough to live on.” [ More ]
Photo: 1930s protest against unemployment, parliament steps, Wellington