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Hardships payments for electricity and gas went up 46 per cent this winter as the Kiwis feel the effects of a higher cost of living, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“There were almost 5000 more hardship payments for electricity and gas this winter compared with the same period last year. A total of 15,594 payments were made in the September 2019 quarter to help people pay their electricity bills.

“This Government promised to be kind and caring and to eliminate child poverty. It’s not kind or caring to pile on petrol taxes or to make being a landlord so difficult that rents go up an average of $50 a week. More Kiwis are struggling to put food on the table, pay the bills and put a roof over their head.

“Labour promised there would be nobody sleeping in their car this winter, it failed to deliver on that promise. It promised to end child poverty in New Zealand and yet seven of nine child poverty indicators have got worse under their watch.

“Even the Winter Energy Payment to ‘help seniors and families who need extra help pay for heating’ hasn’t helped because of all the extra costs that are being piled on.

“What makes it worse is that a significant number of these hardship payments were loans, which means that our most vulnerable are now in debt because they wanted to keep their families warm.

“Labour is failing to deliver on its promises. National will revive the economy. We will restore business confidence, we will ensure Kiwis get to keep more of what they earn and we will make sensible policy decisions which won’t mean more costs on families.  

“New Zealanders can’t afford this Government.”

 

Hardship grants by quarter from the 2019 September Benefit Fact Sheet

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