February 24, 2021
Benefit discrimination needs to stop: CPAG
Child Poverty Action Group says big steps, not little steps, are needed to reach children living in deepest poverty.
Spokesperson Innes Asher says while the latest Stats NZ data shows some improvement up until the first Covid lockdown, the growth in foodbank queues since then indicate the level of distress in low income families.
She says the Government can tackle both runaway housing costs and the prejudice against the lowest income people built into the benefit system.
"The lowest income people are supported by a benefit and they are denied access to key family assistance because the parents are on a benefit, so that has to be stopped. We immediately need to have those lowest people on a benefit, families on a benefit, get full access and no longer have this discrimination. That would immediately reach those in the deepest poverty," professor Asher says.
Professor Asher says Māori have double the rates of material hardship than Pākehā, showing the discrimination in the system.
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