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Labour says there's a mood swing against the Government

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Phil Goff
Phil Goff

Wellington, Aug 11 NZPA - The Labour Party says it is detecting a mood swing against the Government as people find it harder to make ends meet.

Party leader Phil Goff led his MPs on a tour of Whangarei and surrounding areas on Monday and yesterday they held an all-day caucus meeting to discuss what they had discovered and to make plans to fight the Government on the key issues.

"We went to schools, workplaces, we talked to the local chamber of commerce and we held a packed community forum," Mr Goff told NZPA.

"Unemployment here is above 9 percent and people are worried."

He defined the issues people worried about the most as the unemployment rate, prices and wages, and cuts to social services.

Last week's Household Labour Force Survey reported unemployment at 6.8 percent compared with 6 percent in the previous quarter and 7.1 percent in December.

Mr Goff said there was real concern about the disproportionate impact on groups like teenage Maori boys.

"Huge numbers are out of work and not in education or training," he said.

"Secondly they're worried about prices and wages -- more and more people are saying they haven't had a pay rise in two years and prices are rising.

"And thirdly, they're worried about cuts to services like health, where the district health boards are saying they can't cut costs any more without affecting fundamental services."

Mr Goff said Labour was developing policies to meet those issues, and would continue to attack the Government on them for the rest of this year.

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