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Predators on Poverty

Predators on Poverty


MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira
Thursday 11 September 2014


“As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those communities with high Maori and Pasifika populations, and they’re growing fat on suffering and deprivation”, said Harawira.

“MANA Movement policy will stop them in their tracks”,

Alcohol

The big booze companies are encouraging binge drinking by teenagers, in particular young girls, through deliberately targeted products such as Vodka Raspberry produced by Independent Liquor.

For example three litre containers of nine percent alcohol Vodka Raspberry are available for just $21. This is a huge volume of alcohol at pocket money prices.

In April 2012 the Distilled Spirits Association promised to implement a code of practice to limit the production and distribution of new RTDs to a maximum of two ''standard drinks'' per single container.

“But today in 2014 their words are worthless”.

“The booze industry can’t be trusted with the welfare of our teenagers”.

MANA Movement would ban these RTD containers, increase the price of alcohol, stop alcohol advertising and cultural or sporting sponsorship by the liquor industry.

There are far too many booze outlets in low-income areas. For example there are already no less than 105 liquor outlets in the Mangere-Otahuhu area already and yet another was approved recently for outside a school in Mangere. That decision is under appeal.

MANA Movement would give communities a veto over whether and where liquor outlets are established.

Pokies

Pokie machines are likewise targeting low-income communities
• In wealthy areas, there is one pokie machine for every 465 people.
• In poorer areas, there is one pokie machine for every 75 people.

We have 17,130 non casino machines taking $806.2 million out of the community each year - $2.3 million every day.

The pokies take $3 out of the community for every $1 put back in grants for activities like horse racing to benefit wealthier communities.

MANA Movement would abolish pokie machines from local communities and allow a community veto on pokies in casinos.

We would cancel the National government’s pokies for convention centre deal at Skycity.

Loan sharks

An August 2007 report to the Labour government on loan sharks in the Pasifika community said –

“the realities for many are that they and their families are struggling to survive, not only physically but also mentally, emotionally, culturally and spiritually

The report went on to say -

“the confusion and stress caused by hidden high costs and exploitative credit contracts exacerbates their already vulnerable positioning with negative and dire consequences in many cases”.

However the last Labour-led government talked for nine years and in the end simply refused to act while National’s new law will have no meaningful effect.

For example loans of 1% per day interest rate (365% pa) are crippling families.

MANA Movement would set a maximum interest rate of 20% pa - the same as that of a typical credit card.

We would also provide families with low interest loans via Kiwibank with associated budgeting advice where needed.

Predators on Poverty Policies

Reduce access to alcohol and address problem drinking and drug use

• Give communities a veto over whether and where liquor outlets are established.
• End alcohol advertising on radio and TV and replace sponsorship of cultural and sports events by alcohol companies with government funding.
• Strengthen legislation to restrict the ability of alcohol companies to sell, promote and discount alcohol to reduce drinking and particularly teenage drinking.
• Increase alcohol taxes and use the income generated to help fund quality residential and community-based alcohol and drug addiction services and drug cessation programmes across the country.
• The age of purchase of alcohol in any setting to be raised to 20 years with a five-year sunset clause to give time for the alcohol industry to be better regulated to end their predatory practices.
• Ensure adequate levels of funding for residential and community-based alcohol and drug addiction services and drug cessation programmes.

Reduce access to unhealthy kai

• Restrict the advertising of unhealthy kai, including that of fast food chains, to children and young people, and more strongly regulate what goes into processed foods and beverages.
• Give communities a veto over whether and where liquor outlets, fast food outlets, and pokie venues are established.
• Continue the ban on the sale and supply of all synthetic cannabis products and move to also ban their importation and manufacture in New Zealand.

Abolish pokie machines and address the harms from problem gambling

• Abolish pokie machines from local communities and allow a community veto on pokies in casinos.
• Remove the distribution of pokie profits from gaming charities, and allocate funding through established, publicly accountable mechanisms such as COGS or Internal Affairs Lotteries committees.
• End gambling advertising in all media.
• Ensure that organisations which deal with the harm created by problem gambling are adequately resourced out of the proceeds of gambling.

Reduce loan debt

• Regulate loan sharks and restrict banks’ profit margins on loans, credit cards, and mortgages.


ends

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