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Govt Income Relief Payment Creating Two-tiers Of Unemployed

Auckland Action Against Poverty welcomes the individualised Income Relief Payments for those being made redundant but warns that the Government is creating two-tiers of unemployed: those deserving of liveable incomes and those who do not.

The Income Relief Payment acknowledges that core benefits are too low to live on. A single adult on a jobseeker benefit would receive $250, compared to $490 for those on the Income Relief Payment. All unemployed people deserve liveable incomes.

“The Income Relief Payments is evidence that we can individualise welfare payments. AAAP has been campaigning, alongside 13 other organisations, to individualise all benefits. Currently if you are on a main benefit and considered to be in a marriage type relationship by Work & Income, you may lose all your income or be subject to invasive investigations by the Ministry of Social Development. People receiving the Income Relief Payment will not be put under this scrutiny.

“The Government is creating a two-tier welfare system where the newly unemployed receive higher incomes than those on main benefits who live below the poverty line. It is a slap in the face for the hundreds of thousands of people on a benefit who rely on food grants to survive because their benefits do not cover basic expenses.

“We are calling on the Government to individualise all benefits and permanently increase them to put them at least in line with the Income Relief Payments.”

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