Poverty is worse under this Government - Simon Bridges

Leah Panapa 17/10/2019

The opposition Leader made the comments in an interview with Leah Panapa while on Magic Talk Drive.

The number of people receiving a main benefit at the end of September this year has risen by over 15,000 compared to the same time in 2018.

The Ministry of Social Development's website says the increase was mostly driven by a 10.2 percent increase in the number of people receiving Jobseeker Support. 

It increased from 129,643 in September 2018 to 142,932 the same time this year. National leader Simon Bridges has called the numbers "concerning" speaking to Leah Panapa in for Ryan Bridge on Magic Talk Drive. 

Bridges criticises the Government as “soft on welfare” saying that removing restrictions and conditions to receiving welfare is responsible for the rise in numbers.

More people getting more dole and languishing on it. 

Simon went on to point out that businesses are in need of more workers so there should not be any shortage of workers as these numbers indicate. He also says that the number of jobs available are wide ranging from fruit picking to ICT.

He says, "I think ninety percent of New Zealanders would agree, if you can work you should work."

Fundamentally, poverty is getting worse not better under this Government.

Leah then challenges Simon on National’s record on housing with costs rising under National’s tenure leading to the significant rise of those on housing benefits. 

You can watch the full interview above.