The latest statistics on child poverty are set to be released today but won’t show the impact of Covid, which exacerbated already existing inequities. The data that reflects Covid won’t show until 2022.
“We can’t wait for the data to reflect what we already know is happening on the ground. There are children and families who are being raised in emergency and transitional shelters across the country, there are children and families who are struggling day to day to make ends meet. The well-being of our communities and future depend on our children being in secure environments” says spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty Agnes Magele.
Just because it isn’t in the reporting, it doesn’t mean that our whānau aren’t experiencing hardship. We’ve been saying for a long time that communities are struggling on current benefit levels – and living in constant levels of stress everyday begins to take its toll. Our people deserve more than what this government is doing, which we’ve been saying isn’t enough. Telling us that the Winter Energy Payment – which is only available in Winter and an increase of $25 to benefits made a real difference denies and dismisses our lived experience.
Jacinda is the minister for child poverty reduction, when in reality she should be the minister for the elimination of child poverty because right now reduction isn’t good enough and is taking too long to implement real and transformative action.
She says she needs to keep going and there’s more to do but it’s easy to say that as the prime minister, when she doesn’t have to deal with the day to day reality of what it means to live with little.
We need Jacinda Ardern and this Labour government to eliminate child poverty by introducing Liveable Incomes for all, as well as strengthen investments into public and iwi solutions to housing. We can’t wait til 2022, 2027, 2028. We’re in need of these things now.