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Return to 1980s-style social welfare will reduce long term living standards, increase welfare dependency

The Taxpayers’ Union says the benefit hikes announced today will reduce the incentive for Kiwis to work, and result in more intergenerational unemployment poverty. It points to Treasury’s forecast increases in benefit costs, despite its rosy economic predictions, as evidence of the unjustified measure.

“It’s been 10 years since income earners had tax relief,” points out Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union. “There’s now been four major hikes to welfare over that period– including the pegging of benefits to average wages.”

“Speaking to media and analysts in the Budget lock up, Grant Robertson said he was ‘proud’ to return benefits to pre-1991 levels (in real terms). That is a return to 1980’s ‘sit on the dole’ handouts.”

“Labour rightly applauded Bill English’s targeted social investment approach – to get people off welfare and into work. Labour’s abandonment of that approach will see higher intergenerational welfare dependency.”

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