Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Hardship grant rise 'related to housing cost'

Sarah Robson, Social Issues Reporter

More than $100 million was paid out in hardship grants by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in the last three months of 2018.

a supermarket
trolley with budget food items

Food assistance accounted for $20m of the hardship grant spending. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The latest benefit figures show that more than 385,000 grants were made in the December quarter - an increase of almost 95,000 on the same period the previous year.

People are able to access hardship grants to help pay for food, accommodation, medical costs and power bills.

Increasing demand for food assistance was one of the leading contributors to the growth in hardship grants, the ministry said.

Spending on food grants alone was almost $20m, an increase of more than $5m compared to the last three months of 2017.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said many people struggled to make ends meet over the Christmas period, particularly when they were trying to find jobs and affordable housing.

"Demand for hardship grants is related to the cost of housing," she said.

"In places like Auckland, where rents and housing costs remain high, there's been an increase in people seeking extra support from MSD."



The number of people receiving a benefit increased from 289,800 in the December 2017 quarter to 299,300 this quarter.

As a proportion of the total working age population, that represented just a slight increase, from 9.8 percent to 9.9 percent.

The figures also showed that the number of benefit sanctions issued has continued to decline.

About 8500 sanctions were applied in the December 2018 quarter, a decrease of more than 6000 compared to the previous year.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On America’s ‘Green New Deal’

‘Socialism’ is more of a political scare word than an objective condition. Even in the US, as Nate Silver’s 538 website pointed out this week there is polling evidence that modern Americans are inclined to treat socialism as meaning ‘equality’ rather than the ‘government ownership or control’ that Americans understood the term to mean back in the 1940s... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Nelson Fire And Climate Change

The Nelson fire has been a useful warning of things to come, given how climate change will (a) increase the likelihood of reduced rainfall and drought-like conditions in many parts of New Zealand, which – obviously – will raise (b) the fire danger and (c) the cost of providing the communities at risk with the enhanced firefighting capabilities that they’re going to need. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Listening To Ocasio-Cortez About Tax

In its attitudes to tax, New Zealand has been the last colonial outpost of Thatcherism. Change, however, may be in the air. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Exit From Afghanistan

To state the bleedingly obvious, US military forces have done a good deal of harm over the past 50 years from Central America to Asia to Africa. That history is now tending to obscure the harm that’s being done by the polar opposite impulse: American isolationism... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit Vote Aftermath

So, what happens next? Normally when a major policy like this gets so crushingly rejected – by 230 votes, when Theresa May had reportedly been hoping for a defeat by “only” 70- 100 votes – the PM would resign and/or a fresh election called. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our History Of Selling Out The Kurds

For the past 100 years, the West has sold out the Kurds over and over again. So much so that it came as a surprise yesterday when US National Security advisor John Bolton appeared to walk back the latest act of betrayal... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog