Stats NZ’s monthly rental and food price indexes released today continue to show that over the last 12 months the essentials have gotten increasingly expensive for thousands of New Zealanders.
The Green Party is calling for action on liveable incomes, rent controls, and food costs.
“Urgent action is needed to address the worsening inequality crisis. The Government can immediately address this through rent controls and a guaranteed minimum income for all,” Chlöe Swarbrick, Green Finance Spokesperson said today.
“Inflation is not experienced equally. Those with the least experience it at a much higher rate than those with the most. While the big end of town has seen an estimated $1trillion wealth transfer with the political decisions made these last two years, those who spend the majority of their incomes on essentials have continued to face extortionately disproportionate pressure to survive.
“Unaffordable rent is a major cause of the inequality crisis in Aotearoa. An immediate rent freeze followed by permanent and meaningful rent controls is essential for helping people to make ends meet,” Chlöe Swarbrick says.
Over the last 12 months, rents have gone up by 5.8%. Food prices have also gone up by 7.6% in the last year. The cost of fruit and vegetables alone has gone up a massive 18 percent in the last year.
“Only yesterday, the Government put out child poverty data showing that across the entire country, nearly one in seven children live in homes where food runs out. For Māori kids, it’s one in four and for Pacific it’s more than one third of all children. There is nothing about this that is acceptable,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, spokesperson for commerce and consumer affairs.
“There is an inequality crisis in New Zealand, and food prices are just another reason why we need to break the supermarket duopoly and ensure everyone has a liveable income. Supermarkets are raking in $430 million a year in excess profits as thousands of families struggle to put food on the table.
“Earlier today the Government said it wants to rein in supermarket profiteering.
“There are two very clear options to make it possible for every family to afford the food they need. Step one: immediately increase benefits to liveable levels. Step two: break up the supermarket duopoly.
“People need liveable incomes, affordable homes, and a grocery sector that puts the wellbeing of the communities and the environment before profits,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.