Budget 2017: Welfare group says Accommodation Supplement increase is a con job

Increases in the Accommodation Supplement (AS) means an equal deduction from Temporary Additional Support (TAS).

“The government is cynically hiding behind the complexity of the welfare payments,” says Vanessa Cole, Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson.

“Steven Joyce admitted in his Budget speech today that TAS, a payment that tops up accommodation costs, will be affected. If AS increases, TAS will decrease dollar for dollar.

“Currently, a sole mother with 2 children under 13 years old who pays $500 rent and lives in Area 1 will get $225 in AS and $98.87 in TAS. With the new increases in AS, she will get $18.87 in TAS.

“People and whānau will be no better off with the new increases in AS in a private rental market characterised by monopoly rents.

“This increase in AS is emblematic of National’s denial of a housing crisis which is forcing people and whānau into motels and cars.

“The AS is a transfer of wealth from the government to a landlord. It is not the solution to the housing crisis, it only incentivises landlords to increase rents.

“The private market will never provide affordable housing for unemployed and low-waged workers. The National party subsidises landlords, developers and motels instead of building state housing.

“A massive build of state housing, with universal access, will create competition with the private market, forcing landlords to decrease their rents and creating affordability across the board.

“AAAP will be outside Clendon Work and Income this Friday, where over 100 people line up from 8:30am to get emergency entitlements.

“We encourage media to come out to Clendon this Friday to witness the reality of poverty in Aotearoa, and the consequences of Government Budget’s on the poor.”