The Government needs to correct how it pays Working for Families and the accommodation supplement to stop the value of them decreasing, the Green Party said today.
The Government has been criticised today for deliberately running down the value of Working for Families and the accommodation supplement to the point that Kiwi families receiving the payments are falling into further hardship. These supports were introduced to help families sustain themselves and make sure they could afford rent and the basics.
“The National Government has been sneakily eroding the real value of payments that hundreds of thousands of Kiwi families rely on by not increasing them in line with inflation,” said Green Party social development spokesperson Jan Logie.
“The Government’s been warned for years that it needs to keep the payments up with the rising cost of living but it’s chosen not to index them properly.
“One economist has estimated that the lack of proper indexing for Working for Families payments and a rise in abatement rates has trimmed $100 million off the amount being paid.
“When just paying for the basics is getting more expensive every year, particularly housing, but payments to families aren’t increasing to match that, more Kiwis will fall into further hardship.
“The Government has made a lot of noise about how it’s raising benefits by $25, starting this week.
“National’s giving with one hand and taking with the other – they’re letting the real value of Working for Families and the accommodation supplement run down so that the people who receive them have less money to spend on household essentials.
“Families are doing their best in increasingly tough circumstances, and I think lots of New Zealanders will be dismayed that John Key’s Government is slowly but surely eroding these payments,” said Ms Logie.