Today’s benefit increase a start, but Government must do more for people in poverty

The Green Party welcomes the 1 July changes to support families and children, but says the main benefit increase must go further to help pull New Zealanders out of poverty.

“New Zealanders want to see a strong social safety net that enables everyone to live with dignity,” says Green Party spokesperson for Social Development & Employment Ricardo Menéndez March.

“A new poll out today shows a majority of New Zealanders from all different backgrounds think the Government should increase income support beyond what was announced in Budget 2021.

“Restoring the Training Incentive Allowance, which National cut, will make a positive difference to the lives of many families from today. But the $20 lift to main benefits, which starts today, doesn’t do enough to help people put food on the table and a roof over their head.

“The Government’s approach of staggering main benefit increases does not make sense when we have families desperately in need, using food grants just to survive.

“$20 now and $15 next year will not go far enough to address the overwhelming hardship people are experiencing. New Zealanders want to see better support, and the Government has the money in the bank to do it.

“We need to eliminate hardship with significant benefit increases now so people can thrive, not just survive.”

ENDS

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