Govt must urgently wipe MSD debt

The Green Party is calling on the Government to clear debt people are being forced into by MSD, and support those doing it toughest. 

“Wiping debt to MSD would help people cover the essentials, protect against predatory lenders and give people the freedom and resources to do what is right for their communities,” says Green Party social development spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March.

“Right now thousands of people are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table. Even pre-pandemic people struggling to make ends meet were already trapped in a cycle of debt with the very agencies that are supposed to support them.

“A new report released today by the Fairer Future coalition shows that 1 in 10 people around Aotearoa are struggling with the burden of having debt owed to MSD.

“Much of the support provided to people by the Government is through loans for basic essentials like school uniforms and dental work. When people are forced to repay this loan, it reduces their weekly income even further, which pushes them into a vicious cycle of more debt. Data also shows women and Māori are disproportionately trapped in this cycle.

“Now, in the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle there have been reports of lenders praying on people who have been affected by the cyclone.

“Wiping MSD debt will put, on average, the equivalent of the winter energy payment back into people’s pockets. At the same time, we need to increase benefits, double the civil defence payment and provide grants for unexpected essentials rather than loans, so no-one is forced into debt.

“This would put money back into the hands of people on the lowest incomes and give them dignity to live without unnecessary debt holding them back,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

Latest Social Development Announcements

Story

Government shows allergy to evidence in benefits crackdown

The Government has been caught in opposition to evidence once again as it looks to usher in tried, tested and failed work seminar obligations for j...
Read More

Story

New unemployment figures paint bleak picture

The Green Party is calling on the Government to do more for our households in most need as unemployment rises and the cost of living crisis endures. 
Read More

Story

Govt must prioritise building more homes, not kicking people out

If the Government was serious about moving families into public housing, they would build more houses so there is actually somewhere for people to ...
Read More

Story

Benefit sanctions will punish people who need support

The National-led Government’s plans to arbitrarily increase benefit sanctions will have a lasting impact on the people who need our support the most.
Read More

Story

Groundhog Day as National once again punishes people on benefits

The coalition Government has today conceded that it did not consider the impact of its benefit changes on children. 
Read More

Story

National Govt will make more people poorer

The Social Development Minister, Louise Upston’s plan to increase benefit sanctions and decrease the rate at which benefits increase each year will...
Read More