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Government in denial over rising poverty

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Failure to address the hardships faced by increasing numbers of Kiwi families confirms the Government is in denial over the mounting poverty problem in New Zealand, Labour's Deputy Leader Annette King says.

The results of a survey out today, which shows families in South Auckland are facing much higher weekly grocery bills than the consumer price index rise reported, were being replicated across the country.

"National needs to pull its head out of the sand. I've travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand in recent weeks and I am seeing the same scenario everywhere I go," Annette King said.

"There is a huge and growing demand for the services provided by food banks. And it's not just coming from beneficiaries. It's coming from ordinary families whose incomes are at a standstill.

"The Government can talk all it likes about a resilient economy, but slick words will be cold comfort for the growing population who can't afford food, rent and healthcare. New Zealand has a burgeoning poverty problem. It's a fact, and it can't keep being ignored.

"Labour thinks hard-working Kiwis deserve a break and they aren't getting one from this government.

"Earlier this week we saw media reports that 55,000 kids now go to school every day without breakfast.

"Labour does not believe that people should have to choose between paying the bills and putting food on the table.

Labour has a plan to support low and middle-income Kiwis which includes taking the GST off fresh fruit and vegetables, making the first $5000 of income tax-free, and increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour," Annette King said.

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