Green Party welfare policy a welcome surprise

AAAP welcomes the release of the Green Party’s welfare policy.  This acknowledges that benefit rates must increase and the punitive culture within Work and Income must change.

“We are encouraged to see the Green Party addressing real issues faced by people in poverty. We remain concerned that the Green’s commitment to Budget Responsibility Rules runs contrary to this welfare policy,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty.

“It is encouraging to see the Green party take on challenges from groups such as AAAP and CPAG. These include ending the toxic culture within Work and Income and the perpetuation of poverty.

“This is an acknowledgement of the poverty created through a sustained attack on the welfare system over the last 40 years of neoliberal capitalist reforms.

“The 20% increase in main benefits is a positive step towards providing a liveable income. Further work is needed to achieve this goal.

“Ending benefit sanctions including taking $28 per child per week from sole mothers who have not named the child’s father is a step towards changing the toxic culture of Work and Income.

“We look forward to more detail about changing the definition of marital type relationships which is currently used by Work and Income to harass, punish and even imprison people.

“These kinds of policies which challenge the neoliberal capitalist status quo are entirely possible when political parties have courage.

“The challenge remains for Labour to positively respond to this policy and change their welfare policy to reflect the needs of unemployed and low-income people.”