Tales of despair: from the streets of New Lynn

Press Release – Auckland Action Against Poverty

Media Release Thursday 12 September 2013

Tales of despair: from the streets of New Lynn … Ranui … Glen Eden…

Even seasoned advocates running a beneficiary ‘impact’ outside Work
and Income in New Lynn this week have been shocked at the numbers of
people in dire need says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson
Sue Bradford.

“In the last few days we have worked with many families who are living
with constant hunger and cold, and who are having to wash all their
clothes by hand in the middle of winter.

“We’ve helped people who are seriously ill but still hounded to find
work as a ‘Job Seeker’ rather than being paid the Supported Living
Allowance they are entitled to.

“We are finding many who have been turned down for Work and Income
assistance to which they are entitled, or who are on the wrong
benefits, meaning they are trying to survive on even less money than
an already minimal welfare system allows them.

“If our experience in New Lynn this week is anything to go by,
thousands of New Zealanders of all ages are having an already marginal
existence made even tougher because of Paula Bennett’s welfare
policies and departmental inadequacies.

“On top of that, Government housing policies which have severely
reduced access to state housing mean many beneficiaries are simply
unable to find or afford decent accommodation and are living in damp,
overcrowded and filthy conditions.

“It is deeply ironic that while there is huge angst about the
difficulty middle class families have in buying a suitable home, there
is little public mention of the families living in cars, garages or
being shunted from one unsuitable situation to another.”

Today is the last day of our ‘impact’, and media are invited to attend
at any time between 9.00am – 1.00pm outside the New Lynn Work & Income
office, 5/9 Hugh Brown Drive.

An ‘impact’ involves three days of intense individual beneficiary
advocacy, helping hundreds of people obtain their full entitlements
from Work & Income.

AAAP and other advocacy groups have joined together to provide up to
25 advocates each day, while Work & Income has put on an additional 20
staff to deal with the extra work.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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