The Green Party supports calls by 40 welfare and poverty organisations to increase income support payments to help lift families out of poverty before Christmas.
Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today:
“The Christmas period should be a time of joy for families in New Zealand, not a time of exacerbated stress that it is for so many.
“With the Greens in Government last term, we managed to achieve significant improvements to the social safety net. This included building the blueprint to ensure a compassionate support system, increasing the benefit by $25 a week, and ending cruel and unnecessary sanctions.
“But we know that if we are going to meet the scale of poverty in this country that we need to do more.
“As rents rise, as more people lose their jobs, and as the additional support provided through schools is not available over the holiday period, the Government needs to act urgently to ensure people are able to meet their basic needs.
“This is a public health issue and, in the same way that we all came together to fight COVID-19, we need to come together to fight debilitating poverty.
“That is why during the election we proposed a Guaranteed Minimum Income of at least $325 a week, paid for by a small contribution by the top 6% richest New Zealanders.
“We back the calls to Labour to increase the benefit. Everyone should be living with dignity in this country. The Green Party will continue to push to end poverty, so that all of us can thrive”.