New Zealand Labour Party

Too many families on struggle street

Labour is calling for the Government to provide evidence-based research to show that moving people off benefits into low-skilled low-paid jobs isn’t creating an underclass of working poor.

“The Salvation Army’s latest State of the Nation report points out that while Working for Families means working parents are better off than those on benefits, growing numbers are moving into poorly paid or casual work which doesn’t in itself reduce hardship, Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says.

“The Government trumpets the fact labour force participation is rising and fewer children are living in benefit-dependant households. Yet at the same time the income inequality gap is growing – with the number of people on the minimum wage rising from 1.7 per cent of workers in 2010 to 4.7 per cent in 2014.

“That’s the real story underpinning National’s short term gains.

“The Government has a responsibility to provide accurate research that illustrates its approach isn’t creating an underclass of working poor, who work harder for longer, but remain trapped in the ‘struggle street’ poverty cul-de-sac,” Carmel Sepuloni says.