Punitive benefit plan will force more into poverty

National’s latest cynical election promise of sanctions for beneficiaries is a distraction from the pressing issue of poverty in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.

Bill English announced that beneficiaries who fail drug tests or refuse rehabilitation will have their benefits cut by 50 per cent or more.

“National’s latest cynical announcement ignores the evidence of how to properly treat drug addiction and will punish already vulnerable people,“ said Green Party inequality spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“We know that sanctions are expensive to administer and push people further into poverty.

“If you believe that people deserve help to overcome drug addiction, why would you turn around and push them under the poverty line if they struggle to overcome those habits?

“In the year to March, only 170 beneficiaries across the country were sanctioned for drug use – this is not the crisis that National are claiming it is.

“What is really shocking is the thousands of people living in cars and relying on foodbanks to have enough to eat, and cutting benefits will only make this worse.

“We believe that no one in New Zealand, whether they are working or not, should be living in poverty.

“The Green Party’s plan to end poverty will make a real difference to thousands of people’s lives and ensure that all families in New Zealand can afford to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head and pay their power bill,” said Ms Davidson. 

Latest Social Development Announcements

Story

We have a poverty crisis in New Zealand, we need to do more

The Green Party is calling for the Government to do more for New Zealanders who continue to miss out, as main benefits are set to rise by less than...
Read More

Story

Working for Families reform must end discriminatory tax credits

The Government’s reported reform of Working for Families must put an end to the discriminatory tax credits that keep some kids in poverty, the Gree...
Read More

Story

Research shows New Zealanders want income support increased

New UMR research reveals that 69 percent of New Zealanders agree that the government should increase the amount if income support paid to those on ...
Read More

Story

Greens call for decent working conditions for all horticulture workers

The Green Party is calling on the Government to ensure all people working in horticulture are paid liveable wages and have access to quality accomm...
Read More

Story

Green Party backs calls by New Zealand charities to lift the benefit by Christmas

The Green Party supports calls by 40 welfare and poverty organisations to increase income support payments to help lift families out of poverty bef...
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 improv...
Read More