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.” 

Latest Social Development Announcements

Story

Decent work, not sanctions

The Green Party is calling for a cross-party commitment to guaranteeing at least a living wage and safe working conditions to people seeking employ...
Read More

Story

Welfare is about support, not sanctions

The Greens are the only party with a comprehensive plan to support people on low incomes so everyone in and out of work has enough to make ends mee...
Read More

Story

Mana in Mahi must guarantee liveable incomes

The Government’s employment initiatives led by the Ministry of Social Development must guarantee liveable incomes and fair working conditions, the ...
Read More

Story

Govt must wipe debt to MSD as part of ‘cost of living’ response

The Government needs to clear the debt that MSD has forced hundreds of thousands of low income people to take on, says the Green Party.
Read More

Story

Green Party urges Labour to provide support to those who need it most

The Green Party is calling on Labour to expand the temporary cost of living payment to those most in need.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: James Shaw Budget Speech

Mr Speaker, It has taken four-and-a-half years to even start to turn the legacy of inaction and neglect from the last time they were in Government ...
Read More