Calling for speedy response to wiping WINZ debt

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox received a petition today urging the Government to wipe debt incurred by people having to borrow money from WINZ to stay in emergency accommodation.

 

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MEDIA STATEMENT

25 May 2016

 

Calling for speedy response to wiping WINZ debt

 

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox received a petition today urging the Government to wipe debt incurred by people having to borrow money from WINZ to stay in emergency accommodation.

 

“In many cases, whānau are having to stay in motels which cost much more than rental accommodation.

 

Earlier this week, the media highlighted the case of a mother of eight tamariki who owes more than $60,000 to WINZ for emergency accommodation costs.

 

This is an outrageous situation that highlights the lack of low-cost housing available for vulnerable families. You can only imagine what kind of pressure mounting debt puts on parents and their tamariki.”

 

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has signalled that the policy of recovering WINZ debt from those needing emergency housing will go in September this year.

 

However Mrs Fox would like to see the Government make a speedier response.

 

“I would encourage the Minister to look at ways to stop this policy now. It will be a long cold winter for those whānau who are continuing to rack up WINZ debt until this new policy kicks in.”

 

The petition presented to Mrs Fox at Parliament today was initiated by the community campaigning group ActionStation. The group has collected more than 9000 signatures online: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/forgive-winz-motel-emergency-accomodation-debt