AUCKLAND ACTION AGAINST POVERTY
Media Release-Saturday 17 May
Prime Minister’s denial about poverty is unrelenting
Prime Minister John Key’s dismissive jokes about anti-Budget protests are typical of a Government which is shameless in its indifference to poverty, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokeswoman Nadia Abu-Shanab.
“Over the past six years Key has become an expert at shrugging-off the loud concerns of those who oppose his Government’s war on the poor.
“Yesterday, Key suggested that protesters outside his post-Budget speech at SkyCity were unlikely to have even read the Budget. However while Key and his mates live in a world of growth forecasts and financial daydreams, others of us of experience firsthand the realities of policies which have brutalised our poorest communities, “ says Ms. Abu-Shanab.
“We work with people everyday who have been squeezed to the limit by a punitive approach to beneficiaries and the unemployed. We have seen incomes drop significantly in parts of Auckland. This winter, an untold number will face freezing homes and empty stomachs.
“Boasting about kicking 15,000 people off the benefit is a shameless move when we are all well aware many have not moved in to work.
“It’s no accident that National failed to invest in meaningful job creation in this years Budget. Chronic unemployment and a low-wage economy suit the interests of employers keen to pay poverty wages.
“National’s vision for a brighter New Zealand relies on entrenching the ever widening gap between rich and poor, so it’s no surprise that Key’s first stop for a self-congratulatory speech was with the wealthy suits at Skycity, rather than the struggling communities of Christchurch or Auckland.
“If Key wishes to lecture us on our knowledge of what is going on, we suggest he joins us on the streets rather than sipping champagne in the SkyCity Convention Centre.”