Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


WINZ exacerbates growing food bank lines this Christmas

20 December 2011

WINZ exacerbates growing food bank lines this Christmas

Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) is helping to make Christmas particularly miserable for some Kiwi families by restricting the payment of some special needs grants, the Green Party said today.

Struggling families who have a need to get a third special needs grant this year have been told by WINZ that they need to increase their income, reduce costs, and seek budgeting advice.

“For some families, there's simply no way to increase income or reduce costs to make ends meet on a benefit or low wage job. Rent and power costs are fixed while everyday basics are becoming increasingly expensive,” Green Party income support spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“Community budget services in some areas have long queues for their services preventing deserving families from getting special needs grants this Christmas. There’s a one-month waiting list in Levin, for example.

“The end result is a massive increase in demand for food bank services around the country.”

Groceries have increased by 5.2% while meat and poultry prices have increased 5.7% since the National Government increased GST in September 2010. Petrol prices are at record highs too stretching household budgets further.

Jan Logie said policies were urgently needed that would bring hope to those struggling to make ends meet before relying on crisis support from special needs grants, food banks, and community ministries.

“There are steps we can take to turn things around, like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, extending Working for Families support to children whose parents rely on a benefit, and reinstating the Training Incentive Allowance,” said Logie.

“We could bring 100,000 kids and their families out of poverty by 2014.

“Many families take Christmas trees, pavlova, and presents for granted. We want all families to share in this traditional good time”

Link to further details of the Green Party’s Child Poverty package:

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news