The Green Party welcomes the relief funding announced today and calls on the Government to go further by providing additional direct support to people impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle and the January floods.
“Immediate steps the Government should take to help people get back on their feet is to double the Civil Defence Payment, expand Working for Families, and introduce the Winter Energy Payment two months earlier than planned,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for social development, Ricardo Menéndez March.
“Although extreme weather affects everyone, it does not affect everyone equally. Climate change disproportionately affects low-income households who are less resourced to cope with severe events such as floods. These are the households that are already most effected by inflation, and who are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table.
“Our priority right now is to make sure people get the support they need and that our communities are supported fully to recover. Expanding Working for Families and bringing forward the Winter Energy Payment would make an immediate difference and money in the pockets of those who need it most.
“The Government should also immediately double the Civil Defence Payment to cover food and replace necessities that people have lost.
“Extreme weather is now happening at a pace and intensity we have never experienced before. This is climate change. As well as providing immediate support, we need to increase incomes to ensure liveable levels as part of a plan to build climate-friendly, resilient communities where everyone has what they need to thrive.”