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Five Years after the GFC and Vulnerability Remains Too High

Five Years after the GFC and Vulnerability Remains Too High

“New Zealand needs to share its resources more evenly or we will have a greater entrenchment of income inequality and poverty and all of the negative outcomes associated with these conditions”, says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). “The latest Vulnerability Report shows children, young people, women and those without work and in low paid employment continue to be the New Zealand citizens who are paying the price for the progress being made on balancing the national budget. It’s time we spread the load more evenly”.

NZCCSS has just published its 16th Vulnerability Report. This report tracks the level of vulnerability experienced by New Zealanders and was first published in July 2009. “The Vulnerability Report looks at official statistics such as the level of unemployment, access to housing, special grants for food and other needs and compares this with the experiences of its social service agency members”, said McGlinchey.  “We see that while there have been some small improvements in government statistics the reality at a social agency level is one of ongoing high demand for services and practical support. Low income households, including low paid workers and beneficiaries, don’t have enough regular income to survive successfully. They rely on social service agencies to support them through the multiple ‘difficult patches’ they must endure.”

“While some New Zealanders have experienced a return to normality and even enjoyed the low mortgage interest rates and high New Zealand dollar, enabling them to pay off their mortgage and purchase imported goods, the reality for many is much grimmer”, said McGlinchey. “There are queues and rationing at food banks. The waiting lists to get access to emergency housing continue to grow. The demand for family counselling, social worker support and for budget advice has outstripped many of our members’ ability to respond”.

“Many parts of our society that are experiencing no benefit from New Zealand’s slow economic growth”, says McGlinchey. “It’s been five years since the Global Financial Crisis and the level of vulnerability remains too high. Children, young people, women, Pasifika and Maori are all bearing the brunt of paying for the excesses that caused the GFC”.

The Vulnerability Report 16 is available at  www.nzccss.org.nz

ENDS

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