What reports has she received on the latest benefit numbers?
The June benefit numbers show nearly 800 fewer people on the unemployment benefit since May, and 94 percent of that reduction is of young people—that is about 754 of that nearly 800. This is the fifth consecutive month that benefit numbers have fallen, and the first time in 4 years in the month of June that numbers have fallen, as well, which is of course a credit to the sound economic direction set by our Prime Minister and this National-led Government.
This Government has reduced the numbers on the unemployment benefit by more than 9,000 since September, with a range of measures designed to give businesses coming out of the recession the confidence to take on new staff. These measures include lowering company and personal tax rates in October, and in April this year; extending the 90-day trial period to all companies, which has made a significant difference; providing 12,000 Job Ops places for young people; and implementing the first phase of the welfare reforms in the Future Focus package last year.
Kua heke iho te tatauranga mō ngā tāngata Māori e noho kore mahi ana?
The number of Māori receiving unemployment benefit - related benefits decreased by 399, or 2 percent, during June. [ Interruption] Do you not want to hear the answer about Māori and unemployment—
I apologise to the Minister, but a member of the Māori Party asked a supplementary question; he has the right to hear the answer. I ask the Labour Party on this occasion to please cut the noise, because it is so discourteous. [ Interruption] On this occasion the Hon Annette King, again, is being particularly naughty, and the honourable Minister, the Hon Paula Bennett, will cease this noise. When I am on my feet this nonsense will stop or someone will be taking an early shower.
The number of Māori receiving unemployment benefit - related benefits decreased by 399, or 2 percent, during June. This decrease was larger than the overall decrease of 1.4 percent in unemployment benefit - related benefits. The largest decreases were in the Auckland region, where the number was down by 374, and the Northland region, where it was down by 112. The number of Māori on the unemployment benefit in June 2011 was 19,400, and in June 2010 it was up at 21,100, so we are making a bit of a difference.