Benefit stats show urgent need to wipe Work and Income debt

The Government needs to clear the debt that MSD has forced hundreds of thousands of low income people to take on and immediately lift benefits, says the Green Party.

“Fixing poverty is a political choice. Right now tens of thousands of families are being forced to take on debt to pay for essentials. The Government needs to cancel all debt to MSD and lift benefits so families have enough to make ends meet,” says the Green Party spokesperson for social development, Ricardo Menéndez March.

Quarterly benefit statistics released today show that Benefit Advances have increased by 22.8% on last year. This shows more families are being forced into a cycle of debt just so they can afford the essentials. 

“As inflation continues to rise and benefits lag behind, more families are getting into debt with Work and Income just so they can get by. 

“Unless we take urgent action, more families will be put further into debt with the agency that is supposed to support them. 

“The Green Party would provide immediate relief to those struggling, by wiping debt, lifting benefits, and implementing a high trust model to access food grants. 

“This would ensure people aren’t being pushed to food banks or to seek emergency support.

“The Green Party’s plan to tax wealth properly would raise enough revenue to lift families out of poverty. 

“Taxing wealth would also allow for long term solutions, like increasing benefits to liveable levels, increasing and expanding Working for Families, and expanding the Income Related Rent Subsidy to local councils. 

“No one in Aotearoa should ever go into debt to provide for their families. People on the lowest incomes need a government committed to ensuring everyone has what they need to thrive,” says Ricardo Menéndez March. 

 

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