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Families downtrodden as costs climb

Labour Leader

25 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Families downtrodden as costs climb

Fifty three per cent of New Zealand families are now either barely able or unable to meet their basic needs as housing costs continue to rise and pay packets shrink, says Labour Leader Phil Goff.

“Figures released by Statistics New Zealand’s Household Economic Survey (Income) today are further evidence that families are suffering, or going backwards under National’s ill-conceived policies.

“Rising costs are destroying family budgets and there is no relief in sight,” Phil Goff said.

“Family incomes have dropped by 4.7 per cent in real terms since 2009, with inflation outstripping income growth. Families now have to spend 7.4 per cent more on rent alone compared to last year.

“Under National, 847,500 households (52.6 per cent) have reported their income is ‘not enough’ or ‘just enough’ to meet the rising cost of living. That's an increase of over 60,900 households from the 786,600 (or 49.1 per cent) who said in 2009 they were struggling to make ends meet.

“The tipping point for the family budget has been John Key’s refusal to introduce measures to address the rising cost of living.

“I have seen food banks across the county pushed to meet demand as middle income New Zealanders can’t cope with rising costs,” Phil Goff said.

“John Key found the time and resources to roll out billions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy, but low and middle income Kiwis have been left with higher bills and less ability to pay them.

“This is yet another example of the rising tide of inequity in our society. Labour has a firm belief that there are basic needs a government must serve. Access to affordable food and housing are the right of every New Zealander.

“Labour has the policies and the commitment to make a real difference to working families in the short term and into the future,” Phil Goff said.


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