Following an economic forecast that shows Aotearoa strongly rebounding from COVID-19, and Crown accounts looking much healthier than expected, the Government should seriously consider taking the lead on economic stimulus and provide cash injection that will help keep New Zealanders afloat.
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today:
“The Government’s coffers are looking healthier than anticipated, despite the impacts of COVID-19. That huge windfall of money should now be funnelled right back into our communities to improve wellbeing and keep New Zealanders afloat.
“The Green Party are calling for an urgent cash injection to those who need it most before Christmas, followed by an increase to baseline support once Parliament resumes next term.
“It is clear we don’t need to worry about debt – now we know we have more than expected it is time to push it back into the community so it is spent. This will continue to stimulate local economies whilst meaning low income New Zealanders can keep their head above water.
“Despite this positive economic outlook, we know many New Zealanders are struggling out in the community.
“During winter, the doubling of the Winter Energy Payment provided a much needed income boost to some of the worst-off New Zealanders.
“Direct payments to people on low incomes help the people who need it most, and provide one of the most effective ways to stimulate the economy – which helps all of us.
“Making sure that everyone has enough money to support their local businesses and avoid taking on onerous debt will help team five million pull through this economic disruption in a stronger position, and ensure an equitable recovery.
“We would work with Government to work through how much anyone on income support and/or Working For Families could get as a one off payment before Christmas. This would be a very simple way to keep our economy going whilst helping struggling New Zealanders this Christmas”.
Note: The Green Party took a direct cash increase for low income families to the election as part of the Poverty Action Plan.