Press Release – Auckland Action Against Poverty
Six Auckland Action Against Poverty activists, including Sue Bradford, will appear in court tomorrow on charges of willful trespass for their part in the occupation of MSD last month, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sarah Thompson.
“We believe that John Key and Paula Bennett should instead be on trial for their hand in increasing poor health, education and life outcomes for our country’s most vulnerable children.
“There have been a number of policies recently released by Bennett and Key which are nothing short of criminal.
“The White Paper on vulnerable children and the Children’s Action Plan, released this morning, fail to address child poverty – one of the largest drivers of poor life outcomes.
“The recently announced Social Security Amendment Bill, along with the extension of the youth minimum wage will only lead to more people struggling to afford food, warm clothes and health care.
“And the increased use of sanctions by Work and Income which saw 57,168 people last year have their benefit withheld or canceled (versus 29,689 in 2008) equates to theft, and has left people with no means to get by.
“We believe that we have a moral obligation to stand up to these ferocious atrocities.
“What we need is decent job creation, a living wage and higher benefit rates. Anything less than this is a severe attack on the well being of NZers.
“AAAP will continue to fight back in opposition to these violent reforms.
“Five of the six, appearing on Friday at 10am at the Auckland District Court, are pleading non-guilty to the charges laid, with one requesting diversion.”