31 Oct 2008

Business group welcomes help for recession jobless

6:19 pm on 31 October 2008

The head of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce says it is encouraging that both major political parties are planning to soften the blow of predicted redundancies.

A week out from the election, Labour and National are promising to help people who lose their jobs during the recession.

Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said further redundancies are on the way, and assistance will be needed.

He said his organisation deals with about 4,000 South Island businesses, and many plan to restructure in anticipation of economic turmoil.

A beneficiaries' advocate in Rotorua said the major political parties are not doing enough to tackle the predicted job losses.

People's Advocacy Union spokesperson Paul Blair said big changes are needed, because there will not be enough jobs to go round once the downturn worsens.

On Thursday, Labour pledged a 13-week job search allowance, that would not be means-tested against a partner's income, for those made redundant after five years in the workforce.

National is planning 16-week support for those who lose their jobs, are eligible for Working for Families or accommodation support and have been in the same job for six months.