The Social Development Minister says plans to cancel benefits of people who refuse three job offers are on hold...
Paula Bennett says the recession has forced her to put some of The National Party's most radical benefit changes on hold.
The Social Development Minister says she is still keen to make savings in the system, which is currently spending more than $16 billion a year.
But Ms Bennett, speaking on TVNZ's Q&A programme, said plans to cancel the benefits of people who refuse three job offers, or will not accept training, are on the back burner.
Ms Bennett says right now the country expects her to be helping people who have lost their jobs because of the downturn. She says another 35,000 people have signed on for the dole since the slowdown began, and helping them should be the priority.
The Minister says circumstances have made it necessary to soften the policy, but she still wants to see it brought in before the end of the Government's first term in office.