1 Mar 2017

English told to ditch drug anecdotes; Immigration and education blamed for unemployment

From Morning Report, 7:20 am on 1 March 2017

The Prime Minister's being told his claims that young New Zealanders are too stoned to get jobs are disgraceful and that it's time he started backing kiwi workers.  

Prime Minsiter Bill English after a caucus meeting on February 7.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Mr English says businesses tell him two or three times a week they can't hire New Zealanders, because they can't pass drug tests.

He says those anecdotes, in part, help explain record immigration.    

Yet government figures show the number of beneficiaries failing drug tests is absolutely tiny.

The Act Party leader is disputing claims by the Prime Minister, Bill English, that drug use is a significant reason for unemployment.

He says the education system is to blame for the lack of skilled workers and unemployment levels, rather than drug-taking and schools with consistently under-performing students should be closed.

The New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, says the reason young New Zealanders aren't getting jobs isn't because they fail drug tests, it's because National has opened the floodgates to immigrants who will work for low wages.