The Salvation Army’s annual State of the Nation report shows just how urgent the need is for welfare reform and lifting the incomes of the thousands of New Zealanders who can’t afford to house and feed their families, the Green Party said today.
The report highlighted a jump in the number of families needing food parcels to get by, as well as serious issues around youth unemployment, child poverty and housing.
“Thousands of New Zealanders are living hand-to-mouth, in the most desperate of circumstances,” said Green Party welfare spokesperson Jan Logie.
“When people can’t afford to put a roof over their family’s head and food on the table, then we know there’s a serious problem with a system that’s supposed to support those who need it the most.
“The Government’s Families’ Package is a start but it cannot be the end of our work.
“As part of our confidence and supply agreement, the Green Party and the Labour Party will be undertaking a review and overhaul of the welfare system.
“Today’s report from the Salvation Army shows just how crucial and urgent that work, to lift the incomes of our poorest families, is.
“After nine years of neglect under National, this Government must prioritise fixing the massive income inequality that so many of our people face.
“It is simply unacceptable that so many of our families, and our young people in particular, face a battle to survive – let alone thrive – every single day,” said Ms Logie.