3 Nov 2008

Recession jobless help would not have to be paid back - Key

7:55 am on 3 November 2008

National Party leader John Key says the short-term financial relief his party would provide to people who lose their jobs during the recession would not have to be paid back.

National has signalled its intention to support those who fall victim to the recession, and while it has not yet released its full policy, Mr Key has provided further details on the plan on Thursday.

He said if there was a dramatic rise in unemployment as the economy slows, some people will need assistance to cover mortgage, rent and other bills.

While Mr Key would not put a figure on what the scheme would cost nor how much people could expect to receive, he told Nine to Noon the assistance will not have to be paid back, and would be time limited.

He said people may need a bit of assistance to make the transition from one job to another, or perhaps to get used to having a lower income.

National finance spokesperson Bill English told a business group that some leadership and reassurance could help avoid what has happened in past recessions, in which New Zealand has willed itself into a form of collective depression.