Welfare is about support, not sanctions

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Greens are the only party with a comprehensive plan to support people on low incomes so everyone in and out of work has enough to make ends meet and provide for their families.

“It is clearer today than ever before that thousands of families will go hungry and cold under National. Only the Greens have a plan for liveable incomes, an end to punitive sanctions and employment schemes that guarantee at least a living wage and decent work,” says the Green Party spokesperson for social development, Ricardo Menéndez March.

“The leadership may be different but this year’s conference shows a depressingly familiar side of the National Party. Much like his predecessors, Christopher Luxon is advocating for policies that will make it much harder for thousands of families to make ends meet, all while benefiting a wealthy few.

“Forcing people into employment, no matter how unsuitable, isn’t the answer. Increasing benefit sanctions will simply push people into hardship and criminalise families who need support. And National continues to wilfully ignore the reality that many people on jobseeker benefits have health conditions and already do critical work such as caregiving and in the community.

“This is exactly what we have come to expect from National: scapegoating the communities they claim to serve in the name of making the wealthy few even richer.

“The Greens are focused on enabling people to fully participate in their communities and meet their aspirations. By ensuring people have liveable incomes we ensure they have the opportunities to go into training, to look after their families and pursue education.

“The changes the Greens will make will lift people out of poverty and unlock what everyone needs to live a good life. We have a track record of advocating for liveable wages and good working conditions that would help build a fairer, more equitable Aotearoa where everyone has what they need to provide for their families, a roof over their heads, and food on the table,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

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