The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services(NZCCSS) is calling for all political parties to put people first this October with concrete goals to build more houses New Zealanders can afford, and lift family incomes off the poverty line.
“Every day NZCCSS members see desperate families and whānau both in work and receiving income support struggling to provide food and shelter.” said NZCCSS President, Ian Hutson today.
Christian social service staff are supporting people whose incomes are too low to put food on the table.
“Their income is simply not enough to cover both rent for housing and the basic essentials necessary for their health and wellbeing. Having a liveable income and a warm, safe home are fundamental.” said Ian Hutson.
NZCCSS says people cannot get ahead and do their best without a liveable income. That’s why living wages and providing a liveable income to all families the Government supports must top every party’s action plan for this election.
NZCCSS believes all New Zealanders want children in this country to grow up in warm safe homes with enough to eat and shoes on their feet. And no one wants the cost of a child’s birthday to put their family out on the street.
But NZCCSS says that kind of hardship won’t change, until living wages and liveable family benefits are a top priority for every Government.
NZCCSS partner agencies want a New Zealand where all people have enough to get by, and all children live in a warm safe home and can take part in the life of their wider whānau and community with pride.
NZCCSS wants to partner with any party that shares its vision to manaakitia te ara whakamua – blessing the way forward, and they will welcome any party that can show how they’ll change the story on housing and living wages after October 2020.
The business and job losses due to COVID-19 are going to mean more families and whānau will struggle with lower incomes as job losses due to COVID-19 continue and the extension of the wage subsidy runs out say NZCCSS.
“NZCCSS members are reporting they are seeing more people who have lost their jobs, struggling to pay rent and mortgages and in need of welfare assistance,” says Trevor McGlinchey, NZCCSS Executive Officer.
The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services challenges all political parties to be clear on how they are going to:
1. Pay families who are out of work enough to live on: by raising the base level of income support for families to a liveable rate, and making sure all working people receive a liveable wage.
2. Build houses that families can afford to live in, and support community groups to build affordable houses and social housing.