Govt must change law that unfairly punishes families

Deducting $22-28 a week from the benefits of single mothers who, sometimes for their own safety, don’t name the father of their child is unfairly hurting families, the Green Party said today.

The Green Party is supporting calls for Section 70A of the Social Security Act, which allows for the deduction, to be repealed by the Government.

“The Government should do right by these families, and get rid of this bad law forever,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“$28 dollars a week makes a difference to the lives of families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“While there is an exemption, too often Work and Income isn’t letting women know about it. If women do find out, applying for the exemption means telling very personal, and sometimes traumatic, details to strangers.

“Young children are missing out on the basics, like having a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, because of punitive National Government policies like this one.

“If the Government refuses to act to repeal this unfair law, it will be continuing to punish children by withholding the support that sustains them.

“It is already extremely difficult to survive on a benefit already, and deducting money from people’s back pockets is only going to punish those who are already going without,” Mrs Turei said. 

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