Protest outside of Jacinda Ardern’s Office

Press Release – Auckland Action Against Poverty

Action on the Sanctions – protest outside of Jacinda Ardern’s Office.

Auckland Action Against Poverty will be hosting a peaceful protest outside of Jacinda Ardern’s electoral office this Friday, 18th of May, to call for an end on benefit sanctions against solo parents. Media are invited to attend.

What: Action on the Sanctions: Protest outside of Jacinda Ardern’s Office demanding an end to sanctions on sole parents. There will be speeches by community representatives and parents.

Where: 658 New North Road, Mt Albert, Auckland.

When: 12.00 – 1pm, Friday the 18th of May.

“We are protesting the failure by the Labour led Government to act on its promise to remove punitive sanctions against sole parents. In yesterday’s budget there was no funding allocated to the immediate removal of sanctions or an increase in benefit levels.”, said Ricardo Menendez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty’s Coordinator.

“Under Section 70A, mothers who don’t name their children’s biological father in the birth certificate are penalised up to $28 per week per child that is not declared. Every year, $25,000,000 a year is taken from solo parents through Section 70A sanctions. There’s over 13,000 sole parents being sanctioned at the moment.

“Our protest will demand the immediate end to Section 70A, as well as an end to all other benefit sanctions and obligations. We are calling on the Government to tax the wealthy, and review its Budget Responsibility Rules in order to adequately fund the Ministry of Social Development to implement these changes.

“As a mother to be, we expected the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to have more compassion towards solo parents this budget. Jacinda Ardern effectively told sanctioned sole parents this budget that her Government has $100 million dollars to fund the America’s Cup but not enough money to remove a sanction that is leaving them without enough to feed their children each week.

“It’s unacceptable to say that the damage the previous National Government did is not able to be fixed within one budget when Labour is not willing to introduce new taxes, increase Government spending and take in more debt.

“If the Government was genuinely committed to ending child poverty, ending benefit sanctions on sole parents would have been an obvious change to make.”

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