The government announced yesterday that Tāmaki Makaurau would remain at alert level 3 for an extra two weeks, while people on benefits struggle to make ends meet with what little support they’ve been given this lockdown.
“This lockdown has been exponentially harder on those receiving benefits, as the same support systems weren’t enacted. We know that food banks are at capacity, and people and families are doing the best they can with what little is available to them. They always have” says coordinator of Auckland Action Against Poverty Brooke Pao Stanley.
Carmel Sepuloni indicated early on that this government would continue to ‘watch this space’ but it’s been over two months now with no extra support announced for people on benefits. It was only a matter of time before Delta found its way into the communities we love and support which have long been neglected by successive governments, and the reason we’ve had to stay in lock down longer. Successive governments have ignored these communities for so long, and now Covid-19 is showing us how extreme that neglect has been.
We know that our collective well-being is interconnected. If the communities we love and support at AAAP are well, then it means our collective response to Covid-19 is strengthened.
Now is an opportunity for the government to address generations of neglect in their roadmap to recovery by giving people and families Liveable Incomes to ensure they can keep themselves well moving forward. It’s a step toward mending broken relationships and high mistrust. It would signal a politics of love, which is so needed in this current climate.