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Leaving no-one behind during Covid

As the country begins another level 4 lockdown in response to the Delta variant now in our community, Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) asks the government and the wider public to include the communities they serve and fight for in the team of 5 million.

“We sound like a broken record and to be frank I don’t care because what we fight for is important. We too will continue going hard for the communities we serve because we love and believe in the kaupapa, people and families so much” says Brooke Pao Stanley, the coordinator with AAAP.

We understand from research taken during the lockdowns last year how heartbreaking it was for many of the people and families in our communities. We know that those who received the Covid Income Relief Payment of $490 and were still able to access supplementary assistance and were essentially individualised were doing better than those receiving benefits. It doesn’t have to be one or the other - the government has shown that they can prioritise the needs of people and families quickly and we want them to bring that same energy when it comes to people and families receiving benefits. We’ve seen what they can do for people and businesses who have struggled during Covid, and want to know why our communities are not prioritised and valued in the same way. The recent increases to benefits, and the incremental changes they’ve already made to the system around abatement thresholds and training incentive allowances are simply not enough when people and families are still struggling to meet their own basic needs. The impacts of poverty are felt right across the whole of society.

As we deal with Delta we need to ensure that everyone is protected so that we can remain in control of Covid. Giving people what they need via Liveable Incomes will help to support our communities, and administering a High Trust model at Work and Income (the same model they used to administer the Wage Subsidy and Covid Income Relief Payment) will also contribute to strengthening them against Covid. We will continue calling on this government to not leave anyone behind.

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