In December last year Aldersgate Social Justice group organised a public seminar “All I want for Christmas is an end to poverty” with speakers from Christchurch Methodist Mission, NZ Council of Christian Social Services and Christchurch Central MP and chair of Parliament’s Finance & Expenditure Committee. It encouraged us yo look at ways we could work for a fairer future for some of those doing it hardest in our community.
We now have the chance to join with thousands of others across the country in encouraging our Government to make sure the up-coming budget urgently increases income support to ensure every person and whānau in Aotearoa New Zealand has a liveable income. Some small improvements have been made in recent years, but much more needs to be done to seriously address poverty and really promote wellbeing for all.
To make it easy to show our support a coalition of church, community and union organisations have created an action-hub at https://fairerfuture.org.nz to help you:
- Add a frame to your Facebook profile picture
- Print a poster for your desk, front window, or fence
- Showing your support on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook
- Write a letter to our local newspaper
- Organise to meet with your local MP to have a conversation with them about why you think they should support liveable incomes for all (it even includes a ‘cheat sheet’ if your local MP raises commonly held myths about the causes and reality of poverty)
A recent poll showed 7 in 10 people agree – the government should increase income support rates so no one is locked in poverty. The Government themselves, including the Prime Minister, has acknowledged benefit levels are “not enough” for people to live with dignity. Each and every action builds power and momentum for the collective vision we hold for our communities. By sharing our support for this kaupapa with friends, whānau, colleagues, and neighbours, we encourage them to show their support too. Together we can lend our political leaders the courage to make a difference for those who need it most!