The tools exist to help families with surging costs – and as costs continue to rise it is more urgent than ever that we use them, the Green Party says.
“The impact of inflation is not felt equally. As things continue to get tough for those on the lowest incomes, we urge the new Prime Minister to prioritise action to lift incomes and reduce basic costs,” says the Green Party’s finance spokesperson, Julie Anne Genter.
“When those at the top get richer, while tens of thousands of families struggle to make ends meet, we can see just how out of balance our society has become.
“The Government has the tools it needs to rebalance Aotearoa and support people on the lowest incomes.
“The inflation data released today by Stats NZ tells us that the cost of housing is one of the main drivers of inflation, including the impact of landlords pushing up rental prices.
“We need an immediate rent freeze followed by permanent rent controls to ensure renters and their families can put an affordable roof over their heads, make ends meet, and stay in their communities.
“Supporting families to switch to low-cost renewable energy will help reduce household bills, while also cutting emissions.
“Food prices are another major driver of inflation. Lower-income families who spend most of their income covering the essentials like food and rent, are hit the hardest. Kids across Aotearoa are going hungry.
“The Government should urgently increase income support for those who need it most.
“An increase in Working for Families and income support benefits would ensure people can afford nutritious food for them and their families
“Inflation is, to a significant extent, caused by global factors. But there is another major reason for inflation. And that is the excessive corporate profit we have been seeing.
“An excess profit tax would be a simple and effective way to make sure massive corporations pay their fair share – and we can use the money to help people make ends meet.
“The tools exist to support people – and we urge the new Prime Minister to use them,” says Julie Anne Genter.