Liveable incomes needed

With benefit changes coming into effect tomorrow, the Green Party is calling on the Government to lift benefits to liveable levels to make sure everyone has what they need to thrive.

“Let’s be clear, continuing to keep benefits at a level where people do not have enough to thrive is a political choice. The tools to lift every family out of poverty already exist, and the Government needs to use them,” says Green Party social development spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March.

“The Government needs to raise benefits to liveable levels; permanently change indexation so benefits are indexed to inflation or average wage, whichever is highest; increase Civil Defence Payments; scale up public housing, and expand the in-work tax credit.

“People should be able to afford a safe, warm, affordable place to call home, with food on the table.

“But so many people are struggling right now. Rising inflation does not impact everyone equally, and those on the lowest incomes are being hit the hardest.

“When benefits don’t keep up with rising prices, people are forced to make impossible decisions about whether to feed their children, or pay the bills. This is why we need to permanently index benefit increases to inflation or wage growth, whichever is higher.

“The progress to lift people out of poverty has been woefully slow. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

“The Greens are clear that bold, permanent solutions to lift people out of poverty exist. We just need to use them. Now.

“The only way to confront big problems we face with the urgency they demand is to have more Green MPs holding the balance of power in the next Government,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

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