The Māori Party and the Green Party are the only political parties to release income policies that would improve the lives of people on the benefit. Auckland Action Against Poverty welcomes both parties’ policies and their support for our Liveable Incomes Campaign.
“The Māori Party and the Green Party have shown the public they have a vision to lift people out of poverty and recognise that people have a right to a life with dignity independent of their employment status”, says Brooke Fiafia, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator.
“The impacts of COVID-19 will mean thousands more people will be reliant on our welfare system and deepen the effects of our housing crisis. Our benefit levels were already too low before COVID-19 struck, and people simply can’t afford to make ends meet with current benefit levels. We’ve seen a sharp increase in the demand for food grants over the past few years and more families in debt to Work and Income. It is irresponsible for political parties to pretend our welfare system is not in need of a complete overhaul.
“The Māori Party’s commitment to doubling baseline benefits, indivualise them and remove all sanctions would help lift thousands of families out of poverty. These are the sort of changes that we have been calling for since the Government term started to ensure that people are not having to queue at Work and Income for food grants to survive”
“The Green Party’s Poverty Action Plan also proposes individualised income support and a Guaranteed Minimum Income, which would remove the punitive culture at Work and Income. While most people will be better off with the Green Party and Māori Party’s proposals, we hope both parties review their policy to ensure the baseline incomes are set to liveable levels.
“In July we launched our Liveable Incomes For All campaign which asked political parties to commit to increasing benefits to liveable levels, indivualising benefits and removing all sanction within the next three years. Both Marama Davidson from the Green Party and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer from the Māori Party made a commitment in August to AAAP to implement the demands of our Liveable Incomes For All campaign within the next three years.
“We are disappointed that neither major political parties have committed to overhauling our welfare system. Despite Government reports and calls from people on the benefit, unions, advocates and faith groups the Labour Party and New Zealand First have yet to commit to substantially increasing benefits to lift people out of hardship.