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Proposed Amendments To Social Security, Benefits Adjustment & IT Amendment Bill: Impact On Vulnerable Communities

Published: Wed 21 Feb 2024 06:00 PM
The proposed amendments to the Social Security, Benefits Adjustment & Income Tax Amendment Bill have raised significant concerns regarding their potential impact on the most vulnerable members of our community. If these amendments are enacted E Tipu e Rea Whānau Services is concerned that this will increase poverty, homelessness, maternal mental health and other disparities, particularly among mātua taiohi (young parents) their tamariki and wider whānau.
At E Tipu E Rea Whānau Services, we witness firsthand the struggles faced by hapū māmā and mātua taiohi who are trying to balance their journey of being parents, without adequate preparation or support and with the added pressures of housing transport, child immunisations, maternity care, mental health issues, and the cost of child-care and other parenting-related expenditure.
Zoe Hawke the CEO of E Tipu e Rea states that “As a service that supports young hapū māmā and young parents we believe that proposed adjustments to social security benefits need to be reevaluated to ensure that they do not disproportionately burden young hapū māmā and young parents and perpetuate cycles of poverty. Lower increases and benefit sanctions risk adding to mental distress for young parents trying to adjust to being hapū or new parents, and are likely to deepen child poverty, decrease maternity care access, decrease child health outcomes including immunisations, increase homelessness, and contribute to lower rates of other health outcomes”.
As one of the few organisations that support young hapū māmā and young parents, we must advocate for policies that prioritise the well-being of our whānau. Benefit sanctions and benefit decreases will not help to create better outcomes for young hapū māmā and parents, and the future generations they will be raising.

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