Cost of living crisis: Green Party calls for universal weekly payment of $110 for families with toddlers

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Shaw said campaigning for the nation’s most vulnerable has never been more important.

“People who are not in difficulty, you can recover through the tax system, but we know that through other parts of our social protection system, if you make a universal payment, as we do with the pension retirement, it makes sure you don’t have people falling through the cracks,” Shaw told AM Early host Oriini Kaipara.

“The current level is really low, it hasn’t budged in a while and of course we’ve seen costs go up and these kinds of cost increases hurt low income families particularly because the basket of goods in which they spend their money are things they don’t have a lot of flexibility.

“So it’s things like energy, transport, fuel, food, etc. Those kinds of things eat up pretty much the whole salary package, so those are things where the costs have gone up.”

Shaw said the current Working For Families system sees people “falling through the cracks” and calls on the government to make it universal.

“Essentially you have a situation right now that is really quite complex and that means you have families that kind of fall through the cracks.

“We know that the cost of living crisis is affecting many low-income families and that the current system is not serving them, so one of the proposals we have is to extend coverage and make it more universal. ”

The Greens’ proposal would cost around $3 billion and the party’s child poverty spokesman, Jan Logie, said it would be worth it in the long run.

Watch the full interview with James Shaw above.

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Elaine R. Knight