Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has claimed she’s supporting Kiwis into financial stability but the doubling in the number of benefit advances being paid out would suggest otherwise, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.
“In the three months to September more than 200,000 benefit advances were paid, a figure that’s doubled since this Government’s been in office.
“Benefit advances have to be paid back, so what’s really happening is twice as many Kiwis are being plunged into debt because they’re unable to cope with everyday costs. That’s because this Government’s policies have pushed the cost of living up.
“How can she say she’s stabilising Kiwis’ financial situations if basics like rent, food and petrol are stretching their bank balances to breaking point?
“It’s not kind or caring to pile on petrol taxes or create so much uncertainty that rents go up by $50 per week. More and more Kiwis are struggling to put food on the table and a roof over their head. This Government’s just making it tougher for vulnerable New Zealanders.
“The previous National Government raised benefits in 2016, providing the first increase above inflation in over 30 years. All this Government’s raised is the cost of living.
“New Zealanders can’t afford this Government.”