More than two thirds of New Zealanders want the government to increase income support for beneficiaries:
Polling out today shows seven out of ten (69%) of New Zealanders agree “the Government should increase income support for those on low incomes and not in paid work”.
The UMR poll was commissioned by a super-group of NGOs who are urging the government to include increases to income support in this year’s budget, in order to release families from the severe constraints of poverty.
The group includes unions, social service NGOs, kaupapa Māori groups, churches, child poverty experts and other organisations across Aotearoa. . .
No doubt the polling company didn’t ask those polled how the government would pay for this and how much more they would be prepared to pay to enable it to happen.
The pollsters almost certainly didn’t remind those polled how much the government is borrowing to counter the impact of Covid-19 and that every dollar borrowed has to be repaid with interest.
They wouldn’t have asked those surveyed about the root cause of poverty and what they thought the government should do about that either.
There is no doubt that poverty is worsening with the subsequent increase in poorer health and social outcomes but solving the problem isn’t as simple as increasing benefits.
Reducing the burden of government on businesses would help, and it could start with replacing an existing statutory holiday with Matariki instead of adding a new one that could cost up $448 million.