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National Govt Will Make More People Poorer

The Social Development Minister, Louise Upston’s plan to increase benefit sanctions and decrease the rate at which benefits increase each year will make life harder for thousands and push more people into hardship.

“Everybody should have a warm home to live in and enough food to put on the table, but successive Governments have chosen to set income levels below poverty levels while the rich get richer,” says the Green Party spokesperson for Social Development and Employment, Ricardo Menéndez March.

“Speaking to the media today, the Minister of Social Development confirmed her goal was to lower increases to benefits and sanction more people, leaving countless families already struggling to survive, worse off.

“Louise Upston talked of her concerns about the poor outcomes of people on the benefit, without acknowledging the fact that successive governments have set benefit levels below the poverty line - a problem she plans to make worse.

“The Minister also failed to acknowledge the impact of benefit sanctions on children or that people with lifelong medical conditions are made to constantly prove their conditions to the Government rather than being treated with respect and dignity”

“Benefit sanctions strip people of their legal means of survival and have never shown to support people to meet their aspirations. Instead, benefit sanctions throw people into further poverty, debt and potentially homelessness setting their lives back for many years.

“The Greens reject Louise Upston’s policies of cruelty and instead will continue fighting to abolish sanctions and ensure everybody has enough what they need to thrive. This is how we support people to meet their aspirations and find decent employment when that is what best works for them,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

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