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Extend emergency benefits for temporary visa holders!

Today emergency benefits for temporary visa holders runs out, leaving people and families relying on this without any income support.

“The government has the capacity to extend this to ensure that everyone is part of the team of 5 million and can participate in the level 4 lockdown. We shouldn’t have to continuously justify why people are deserving of these supports - they are basic human rights” says Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley.

“It’s already been so hard for people and families who have been separated, who have been living without any assurances of having their visas extended, who have had to prove that they’re leaving the country to access this emergency benefit” says Federation of Aotearoa Migrants spokesperson Anu Kaloti.

International students are also left ineligible for income support and have been told to contact their own embassies. We’re happy to take their money when it suits us, but then deny them support when they need it most.

It’s likely that we’re going to be living with rolling lockdowns because of the Delta variant, so why not ensure that we create a robust and strong support system moving forward for all of us? With rolling lockdowns we’re going to see the same issues resurface and we shouldn’t expect people to deal with such injustice ever.

We’re asking for emergency benefits to be extended, and to remove barriers to these people accessing work and income support during this period.

© Scoop Media

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