Wednesday, 17 August 2011, 2:48 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party
17 August 2011
Key conning Kiwis over youth unemployment
John Key is playing games with youth unemployment figures to disguise the fact that thousands more young Kiwis are ending up on the unemployment scrapheap under his leadership, says Labour Leader Phil Goff.
“John Key is twisting figures in an attempt to pull the wool over New Zealanders eyes about just how bad the problem of youth unemployment has become under this watch.
“He’s ridiculing and denying figures provided by the Government’s own statistician and the Household Labour Force Survey because they don’t suit his political spin.
“The reality is that the number of 18-24 year olds on the Unemployment Benefit for 12 months or longer has increased by 733% since December 2008 – when John Key came to power. This figure was supplied to Labour by his own Social Development Minister.
“In the June quarter there were 58,000 people aged 15-24 who were not in employment, education or training. This figure was supplied by Statistics New Zealand. Yet John Key won’t accept it.
“His Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is just as bad – initially claiming the Statistics NZ figures were wrong, then later retracting that comment and admitting she was wrong.
“This Government is failing our young people. It is so focused on political spin and demonising young people that it has missed the point – we need to invest in training opportunities and create jobs so our teenagers don’t end up stuck on the dole.
“Labour will boost skills training and apprenticeship numbers. We have a robust and coherent plan to grow the economy and create jobs so that our young people have a future to look forward to.”