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Alliance says Judith Collins a threat to society

Alliance Party says Judith Collins a threat to society

The Alliance Party has called for National Party welfare spokesperson Judith Collins to resign following her comments on poverty.

Ms Collins says she finds it a great joy that many New Zealanders in a survey think that poverty is a result of laziness.

Alliance Party co-leader Len Richards says Ms Collins comments reveal a deep-seated hatred of working class and low income people, and a disturbing combination of ignorance and arrogance.

"Ms Collins is a threat to society far more dangerous than low-income people."

Poverty is a result of two decades of economic policies that have ripped apart working class areas and lower income families, says Mr Richards.

He said having Ms Collins as welfare spokesperson was the equivalent of National putting a racist in as their Maori spokesperson.

"She wants to punish the very poorest, most vulnerable people, and create a brutal, divided New Zealand."

He says that modern New Zealand is an incredibly harsh place for low income people.

"Very often people have got to the stage where they have lost all their self-confidence, they are suffering from social and psychological problems, and often a poor level of education and literacy, and they are sinking into debt and despair."

"They haven't got the family or personal resources to get out of their situation right away."

Mr Richards says the Alliance would pour resources into building up the living standards of low income people to a civilized level, including raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, major investment in public health and housing, and reintroducing free education.

"The solution for these problems is a more equal, more democratic and more responsible society, and that is what the Alliance is about."

"Ms Collins will have meals that cost more than some people are living on in a week. She is a disgrace."

ENDS

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