Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.

“Anne Tolley is seriously out of touch with the reality for struggling families. She’s claimed her Government’s work with sole parents as her biggest success, but new figures from the University of Otago show a 36% increase in the rate of homelessness amongst sole parents since 2006.

“What’s even more alarming about these figures is they show that 52% of homeless people in New Zealand are either in study or working. The Government is so focused on getting people off the benefit, that they are ignoring what happens after that.

“Not only is the Government failing to address the housing crisis, they are continuing to bury their heads in the sand by not even acknowledging the results of independent research like this report from the University of Otago.

“For a Minister who likes to claim that children are the focus of her efforts, she is presiding over a massive increase in the number of homeless children.

“The rising levels of inequality and homelessness under National are unacceptable and unlike this Government, Labour is committed to understanding and addressing these issues,” Carmel Sepuloni says.