Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner should be demanding some answers from her colleague Anne Tolley following the appalling treatment of one of her constituents, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.
“The woman, Louise, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Work and Income had described her reason for not being able to work as ‘sexual activity’ after she had applied for financial assistance.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.
“Anne Tolley is seriously out of touch with the reality for struggling families. She’s claimed her Government’s work with sole parents as her biggest success, but new figures from the University of Otago show a 36% increase in the rate of homelessness amongst sole parents since 2006.
New figures revealing homeless people registered with Work and Income are waiting an average of 155 days to be housed shows the Government is totally overwhelmed by the housing crisis, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says.
“What’s worse is that of those registered as homeless, a shocking 124 have at least one child. That is 124 families living in cars, couch surfing or spending the winter in the garages of friends or relatives. It is a national disgrace.
Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.
Tomorrow’s benefit increase will put some much needed extra dollars in the pockets of our most vulnerable but will do little to reduce growing inequality, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says.
“While Labour backs this additional support 100 per cent, we agree with the Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills that ‘the increase will not be sufficient to lift families out of poverty’.
The Social Development Minister must urgently step in to resolve serious problems with the new WINZ IT system which is stopping superannuitants and beneficiaries accessing support such as emergency food grants and housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.
“Anne Tolley must take responsibility for these failures as it is affecting a wide range of people including those applying for new benefits.
“Budget advisors are saying they’re dealing with clients in increasingly desperate situations because of these problems.
Anne Tolley’s description of the Government’s unemployment target as ‘aspirational’ is not only confirmation that National is failing to get people into work, but astonishing in its naivety, Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.
“Ms Tolley has basically admitted National has given up on getting people into work.
Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says.
“Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions, affecting parents of children, were issued in 2014/15 than in the previous year. Sole parents fared the worst
New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says.
“Increasing numbers of job seekers going through this process are having their benefits cancelled because of the complexity of the paperwork, not because they found jobs.