As the heat rose last week so did the national statistics for hardship grants for electricity and gas. There was no warmth for some last winter as payments rose by 46 per cent and the higher cost of living bit hard.
Across the country there were almost 5000 more hardship payments for electricity and gas this winter compared with the same period last year. A total of 15,594 payments were made in the September 2019 quarter to help people pay their electricity bills. Rents rose too – by an average of $50 a week.
Along with the rest of New Zealand it is a sad state of affairs that our people in the beautiful Bay of Plenty are feeling such hardship, along with the weight of extra taxes and more and more people struggling to put food on the table, pay the bills and put a decent roof over their family.
The Labour, NZ First, Greens Coalition Government promised to eliminate child poverty but the number of hardship grants paid out since the election has doubled every day as Kiwis get hammered by the continuing rising cost of living. In the year to September, $26.5 million was paid out in food hardship grants, up from $13 million in National’s last year in Government.
There is no doubt a lot of people are doing it hard and families are finding it tougher and this Government seems completely out of touch with how its decisions are affecting people’s lives.
Along with my National colleagues I will do my very best to make sure we revive the economy and restore business confidence, and make sure everyone gets more of what they earn.