Inflation Almost 3 Times Higher For People Receiving Benefits
Statistics released today show that inflation was almost three times higher for people receiving benefits than for all households in the year to December 2020, mostly due to higher rents.
“We know that people receiving benefits end up paying a higher proportion of their income than other households for everything, because benefits are not sufficient for people to live on comfortably” says co-ordinator of Auckland Action Against Poverty Brooke Stanley Pao.
"We are aware of the impacts of rising rents for people receiving benefits, as many people we see at Work and Income are coming in to seek emergency shelter or are already living in emergency shelter.
We’ve been consistent in calling for benefits to be increased, and toward the end of last year we were joined by now 70 other frontline and community organisations for the Labour government to do this. They continue to deny the safety and protection of having enough to live comfortably to 389,500 people, and contribute directly to the psychological, physical and emotional trauma this involves and perpetuates.
Jacinda Ardern stands by her government’s record of small changes made in this space, but we’ve always said what they’re doing isn’t enough. The Labour government continues to be dismissive and ignorant of the 70 plus organisations as well as people's lived experiences. They’re so out of touch with what’s occurring for people and families on the ground and at this point she’s showing she’s not a Prime Minister for all New Zealanders, as she so proudly boasted she wanted to be when re-elected.
The Labour government needs to get real about being transformational, instead of simply paying lip-service and they have all the power to do this. They need to be bold and increase benefits to liveable incomes, as well as make public housing a priority and human right for all.