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People On Benefits Continue To Be Left Behind In The Team Of 5 Million

Press Release – Auckland Action Against Poverty

The government’s announcement this morning continues to reflect the truth that people on benefits remain invisible in the health response to Covid-19, despite these communities being hit the hardest.

“While we’re supportive of the announcement that people working on low incomes will be able to work up to 40 hours a week and access hardship grants it’s deeply distressing for us at Auckland Action Against Poverty to hear that nothing was announced for people and families on benefits” says coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley.

This lockdown has been so much harder and it’s frustrating to hear the government spin all this rhetoric about not leaving anyone behind, and team of 5 million when they’re actively choosing not to provide these communities with the support required to keep themselves protected and well.

The reason these communities are at-risk or vulnerable is because they’ve been neglected by successive governments for generations now. There is understandably very low trust of the government in these communities because they’ve never shown they care about their well-being by sharing resources these communities need to thrive.

The introduction of vaccination certificates will also disproportionately impact the communities we serve, a high percentage of them being Māori and Pacific. Many of our disabled whānau who can’t get vaccinated will continue to feel excluded in a society where they too remain invisible. The detail of the vaccination certificates will matter, but without more clarity and engagement with the disability sector this will create further anxiety.

Labour are full of it. This was an opportunity for them to work on rebuilding trust in the communities we love and serve and they didn’t.

Liveable Incomes and Universal Essential Services needs to be part of the roadmap to recovery as it’s a way to truly ensure that our most vulnerable and at risk communities are protected against Covid-19. We don’t want anything else and we’ll continue demanding it from this government.

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