Food banks are not the solution

The Green Party is today calling on the Government to implement the Income Guarantee, in addition to funding food banks.

“Demand for food banks is increasing, but the Greens know that food banks are not a solution, they are a symptom of inequality and poverty. The time is now to lift every single family out of poverty through our Income Guarantee and to pay for it with a fair tax system,” says the Green Party spokesperson for social development, Ricardo Menéndez March.

“We know that food banks do such important work to help communities, and stop many people in Aotearoa from going hungry.

“But we need to address the reasons people use them in the first place. A May survey showed that rising prices, low incomes and unemployment were the most common reasons people used food banks.

“Our Income Guarantee is the solution. A commitment to every single person in Aotearoa that no matter what, your income will never fall below $385 per week, after tax. For couples, it will be at least $770, and a single parent will always have an income of at least $735.

“95% of people will also pay less tax under the Income Guarantee and parents or caregivers’ will get the support they need with a top-up of up to $215 every week for the first child, and $135 a week for every other child. Plus, an additional universal top-up of $140 a week for every child under three.

“As demand for food banks increases, 311 of Aotearoa’s wealthiest families are hoarding $85 billion in wealth which is being taxed at less than half the effective tax of the average family.

“This simply should not be the case. That’s why our Income Guarantee is fully funded through simple changes to the tax system that unlock the resources already there.

“Only the Green Party has a plan to end poverty, make sure everyone can pay the bills, put food on the table, and keep the house warm. The time is now,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

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