The considerable increase in hardship grants shows that more and more Kiwi families are struggling to put food on the table and pay for basic schooling, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.
“The latest quarterly benefit figures released from the Government shows an extra 74,040 hardship assistance grants this quarter compared to March last year.
“The Government has spent an extra $25,224,731 on hardship assistance compared to the March quarter last year because of their failure to deal with the housing crisis and failure to keep living costs affordable for New Zealand families.
“New Zealand families are struggling to make ends meet under this National Government. The increase in hardship grants is due to more people needing help with accommodation costs and basic necessities like food and schooling.
“No child should be unable to go to school, or have to go to school hungry in New Zealand. Yet these figures show that many families are unable to afford these basic costs without extra financial support.
“How can the Government claim a reduction in benefit numbers by 0.6% per cent is positive when more and more New Zealanders are struggling to survive, and less than half of these people have a job?
“Labour has a solution to the housing crisis by building affordable homes so families can afford to live well and pull themselves out of financial hardship in order to provide a better future for their children,” says Carmel Sepuloni.