February 21, 2021
Boost benefits say welfare NGOs
A super group of NGOs says Government should heed a survey showing almost seven in ten New Zealanders agree it should increase income support for those on low incomes and not in paid work.
The group includes unions, social service NGOs, kaupapa Māori groups, churches, child poverty experts and other organisations across Aotearoa.
They say keeping benefit levels low locks more people into poverty, with the heaviest burden falling on Māori, Pacific peoples, women, disabled people and children.
Dr Clair Ahmad from Barnados says low incomes lock out whānau and especially children from the opportunities that society offers.
"Every family and whānau should be able to give their child, their children, their mokopuna a childhood where they can thrive and grow up with that strong sense of hope for the future and right now because of this inequality we have in our society in Aotearoa it's not happening but we know it is in the power of the Government to change this," she says.
Dr Ahmad says many families are really struggling as the cost of living outstrips their income.
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