Tinkering around edges won’t cut it for families struggling to survive

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

Research released today reinforces the need for significant changes to our social safety net, the Green Party says.

“Everyone deserves to live with dignity, but our current social safety net doesn’t do enough for our most vulnerable New Zealanders,” says Green Party spokesperson for Social Development & Employment Ricardo Menéndez March.

The University of Auckland research confirms what people on the benefit have been telling us – that a $25 increase to baseline benefits didn’t make meaningful changes to their lives.

“Many people didn’t even get the full $25, and others saw it disappear immediately to cover the rising cost of housing.

“The Welfare Expert Advisory Group said, more than two years ago, too many people are leading desperate lives and significant change is needed.

“With a month to go before the Government’s Budget, my hope is that the Government will finally take significant action and this will be the last month of hardship for people in our communities.

“Labour’s tinkering around the edges so far won’t cut it anymore. If we want families to no longer need food grants just to survive, we can’t keep doing small increases to benefits. We need to eliminate hardship, not just alleviate it. The Greens will keep fighting for significant increases to benefits so people can thrive, not just survive.

“We will do the work required to overhaul our welfare system, by rewriting our Social Security Act so that people have enough income to make ends meet.”

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