Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD

Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development. 

Official Information Act figures acquired by Auckland Action Against Poverty show that total debt to Work and Income has tripled in five years, to $307 million. The average debt per person has doubled to $1368.

The number of people with debt to Work and Income has increased to 224,479, up from 169,888 over the same time frame.

“People in Aotearoa deserve dignified incomes that allow them to cover their basic expenses. Our current welfare system is dehumanising and leaves too many families requiring special needs grants to cover rent, bills and travel costs,” said Marama Davidson.

“The rapid rate at which New Zealanders are entering debt with the Ministry of Social Development highlights the urgency for an overhaul of our welfare system.

"The Green Party's Poverty Action Plan would give people a Guarantee Minimum Income of at least $325 a week and would lift incomes for families relying on income support so they do not have to enter into debt with Work and Income.

"We are concerned that women and Māori are being made to repay Work and Income debt at a rate of around 30% higher than other groups. The use of discretion by our Government agencies should not result in systemic discrimination. The increased rate of repayments only adds to the existing income gap for women and Māori.

"The Green Party remains the only political party committed to overhauling our welfare system to one that provided unconditional care, instead of punishment.” 

Petition

Let’s ditch fossil fuels once and for all

When all our energy comes from the sun, the wind, and the flow of rivers, we won’t need to burn the fossil fuels that cause the climate crisis. Our...
SIGN ON

Petition

Support our Poverty Action Plan

Our Poverty Action Plan will completely change the way we support people in New Zealand so when people ask for help, they get it. It overhauls the ...
SIGN ON

Action

Local Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Latest Social Development Announcements

2020

Poverty action plan

Everyone deserves to live with dignity. The Green Party knows this is possible with a fairer approach to income support and taxation.
READ MORE

Poverty Action Plan

Support shouldn’t be conditional and our plan isn’t either. Our plan is a new, simple safety net that works for all of us. It’s our plan to improve...
Read More

Policy

Community and Voluntary Sector Policy

The Green Party supports a strong, independent Tangata Whenua, Community & Voluntary sector contributing to enhance Aotearoa New Zealand’s soci...
See More

Policy

Fairer Communities

Everyone should be treated equally, with access to what we need to live a good life.  In government we've fought to implement policy that ensures e...
See More

Policy

Income Support Policy

Everyone deserves enough to live with dignity, support their family’s wellbeing, and participate in their community. Income support can eliminate p...
See More

Story

Marama Davidson's State of the Planet speech

Mā te oranga o te taiao, ka ora ai te iwi, mō te takitini kāore mō te torutoru anake. Nei ra taku mihi tuatahi ki a koe e te koka o te ao, korua ko...
Read More