Welfare activists to grill Bill English on housing, welfare and work

Welfare activists will protest outside the National Party Northern Regional Convention this Mother’s Day to demand universal access to state housing and a livable income.

“Unemployed workers need a living income and access to state housing. Instead they are subjected to sanctions and punishment,” says Vanessa Cole, spokesperson for AAAP.

“On Mother’s Day it is important to acknowledge sole mothers who face economic punishment from Work and Income.

“Work and Income take $22-$28 per child, per week from sole mothers who do not name the father on the birth certificate. They are also sanctioned for not entering the paid workforce.

“Sanctions take money from families who are already facing hardship. It can be the difference between having food for school lunches and sending children to school hungry.

“Unemployed and low-waged workers are facing a crisis. Instead of solving this, political parties are speaking of social investment, fiscal management and reducing state debt.

“This is a time where we need to be spending more money to ensure families have access to enough income to live in dignity and a secure roof over their heads.

“The National Party’s social investment policy reduces people to numbers which can be risk managed. This policy fails to address the root causes of poverty.

“If we want real social investment then we need to start investing money in essential social services which have been progressively cut and underresourced.

“The private market has failed people. To address homelessness, substandard housing and unaffordable rents we need massive amounts of state housing built for life.

“We also need to invest in a livable income for both unemployed and employed workers.

“Join AAAP and grill Bill this Sunday, 11:30am at Waipuna Conference Centre and disrupt business as usual to demand housing, welfare and work.”