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Bennett's job numbers don't add up - Ardern

Wednesday 14 Nov 2012 12:06 p.m.

Paula Bennett (file)

Paula Bennett (file)

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Paula Bennett’s list of job vacancies doesn’t add up.

The Government has gone on the offensive over the worst unemployment rates for 13 years.

The Social Development Minister said yesterday there were plenty of job opportunities, claiming 300 vacancies at The Warehouse and 40 at Bunnings.

But The Warehouse told RadioLIVE it only has 30 jobs available and Labour MP Jacinda Ardern is questioning other numbers.

“I’ve been checking a few; Bunnigs for instance at the moment online is advertising – I think – three jobs,” she said. “A slight disconnect there from what the minister claims.”

Ms Ardern had previously accused Ms Bennett of “stooping to a new low” after she read out the job ads in Parliament.

Ms Bennett was dealing with Labour Party questions on youth unemployment when she said people could find jobs if they looked for them.

She said the Warehouse Group wanted 300 workers, Brightwater Engineers wanted 40, Mitre 10 was opening a new store and needed 50 and Bunnings Warehouse was looking for 40.

"It's tough out there but there are jobs... people need to be actively looking to be able to take up the opportunities, it's as simple as that," she said.

Ms Ardern, says the minister's response was "just plain nasty".

"To read out a list of supposed job vacancies - thus implying work is freely available if people are looking for it - is a pretty low blow," she said.

"The minister is responsible for more than 50,000 Kiwis on the unemployment benefit and implying they aren't looking hard enough is just insulting."

3 News/NZN

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