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Government’s Shameful Record On Implementing Their Own WEAG Recommendations

Back in early 2019 The Welfare Expert Advisory Group made 42 recommendations to transform the welfare system in it’s report titled ‘Whakamana Tangata’. Child Poverty Action Group’s own research report released today found that only 4 of those recommendations have been fully implemented.

“We’re not surprised at the research report that was released by CPAG today, as it’s indicative of what many of us have been saying for a while now. The government isn’t doing enough in this space to ensure that people have access to enough resources so they can make the best possible decisions for themselves, and their families” says coordinator of Auckland Action Against Poverty Brooke Stanley Pao.

“This Labour government is all talk and no action. The WEAG recommendations should be treated as the bare minimum in terms of transforming our welfare system given it’s a pre-Covid document”.

“They’ve already had one term to address this and are not looking to do so in their next term. They talk about the Families Package but the Winter Energy Payment is only a payment offered during Winter. They talk about how it’s going to take longer than ‘one term’ to resolve poverty but are happy to print $125B which will prop up our housing market during a time when we’re experiencing a housing crisis. Make it make sense”.

“The government has the mandate and unbridled power to make decisions that ensure everyone in this country has enough to thrive. Jacinda keeps referring to lifting 18,000 children out of poverty but when the full number of children living in poverty in 2018 was at almost 250,000 it’s not good enough. That was 2 years ago, and that number is likely to have increased. As the Child Poverty Reduction Minister she needs to stop throwing these numbers around as if it’s something to be proud of”.

“We need a government that centres the needs of our most marginalised groups - we need liveable incomes and a commitment from them to building enough public housing to address the public housing waitlist of 20K households. There is too much at stake for the communities we here at Auckland Action Against Poverty serve to accept anything less than this”.

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