Benefit increases welcomed but some need more

Non-profit organisations like helplines and family centres desperately need fair funding and fair pay, according to Social Service Providers Aotearoa. Photo: RNZ.

The government is being accused of dismissing major funding issues for some community organisations that support people experiencing hardship.

Social Service Providers Aotearoa, which represents more than 200 non-governmental organisations, has welcomed increases to the main benefits in Budget 2021.

It says that will make a difference to whanau in need.

But its chief executive Clare Achmad says non-profit organisations like family centres, counselling services, charitable trusts and helplines, desperately need fair funding and fair pay.

She says they need about $630 million to keep providing help.

They will be asking for that in Budget 2022.

Benefit boost welcomed

A Tauranga social support service describes the boost to benefits as "like winning Lotto" for those in need.

Beneficiaries will get up to $55 more in their pockets each week, in a two-stage boost to income support payments.

Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust director Tommy Wilson says the news from the Budget is cause for celebration for people on welfare - including the homeless.

"Those people don't get to celebrate much and I think more than just the $55, it just gives that korowai of hope to wrap around yourself as a homeless person cause it's been a pretty tough year for these guys too."

Wilson says the benefit increase will not solve the country's social woes, but it is a good start.

Rotorua Budget Advisory Service manager Pakanui Tuhura says the increase in benefits is warranted and will help address inequality.

"The increase in benefits I think is really warranted, the haves and have nots, the gap between them is becoming greater and greater and I think that's common knowledge."

Tuhura believes most beneficiaries will use the money wisely, such as paying off debt or covering the increasing cost of housing.


More on SunLive...
You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now


Posted on 25-05-2021 18:32 | By This Guy

Maybe you should be having a discussion with your employers then? They’re the ones who don’t think your time is worth that extra $25 after all... (but I’m guessing your boss prefers that money in their pocket, not yours)

Career change

Posted on 25-05-2021 06:03 | By mac attack

$55 extra a I’m in the wrong career! My payrise was a measly $30 a week and I get the privilege of rising at 4am every day to go to work.


Posted on 24-05-2021 14:49 | By

I do not have a problem giving a handout to those who cannot work. My problem is paying good money to those who WILL NOT work. Secondly, I think some of the increased handout should be paid into a Kiwisaver account for the future.


Posted on 24-05-2021 12:52 | By Local Too

Hey there’s plenty of work out there maybe that would be a good idea to get more money, get out of bed and work for a living rather than the tax payer paying for your lifestyle


Posted on 24-05-2021 11:24 | By

Yeah nah, take as much as you like. It grows on trees.