“This year’s Salvation Army State of the Nation report shows that there are 208,900 kids living in benefit-dependent households, 30,000 more than when Labour took office,” says ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour.
“Almost one in five Kiwi kids (18.1 per cent) are now growing up in benefit-dependent households. At the same time, there are over 60,000 more working age benefits being paid than in 2017.
“There are less than half as many benefit sanctions being made now than there were five years ago. Labour’s values are all wrong when it comes to welfare.
“To be paid to live by other taxpayers should be a privilege with terms attached, but Labour has turned it into a lifestyle choice. Over 4,600 work-ready Jobseeker beneficiaries have been receiving the benefit for over 10 years’ continuous duration at the same time as businesses up and down the country are crying out for labour.
“What’s worse, Labour closed down ACT’s Partnership Schools which were breaking the poverty cycle by reengaging some of the poorest kids with the education system.
“ACT says that it’s time for a values shift. The benefit’s there to get people back on their feet, not to comfortably lie down on. If you’re receiving a work-ready Jobseeker benefit, then it only follows that you should be ready for work.
“These kids deserve a better future. What is needed are policies that will grow the economy and create good paying jobs for Kiwis.
“Rather than locking so many New Zealanders into a cycle of poverty, ACT will bring real change with policies designed to grow the economy and allow more Kiwis to find work and create a better future for their families.”