500 signatures reached
To: Jacinda Ardern, Carmel Sepuloni
COVID-19: Grant Emergency Benefits for Migrants
Migrants on temporary visas are not able to access welfare payments in New Zealand, they have no safety net. When everyone is being told to stay home, how do they pay the rent or afford the essentials like food?
There is way that New Zealand can show compassion, we can enact Section 64 of the Social Security Act (Emergency Benefit: grant during epidemic in New Zealand) so that migrants who have lost their employment or are stranded in the country can access emergency benefit payments. We ask that this is implemented 6 months or more to ensure people who need it have support to live.
These payments need to be enough to live on. The emergency benefit rate must be set on par at the equivalent rate of the main benefit type that MSD would normally grant to a person in their circumstances where they would qualify.
Standard benefit rates are 20% below the poverty line. If Jacinda and her team can find the kindness in their hearts, please lift the benefit rates to a liveable level.
Why is this important?
We are global citizens. Aotearoa NZ must show a good example of manaakitanga. Our migrant community contribute hugely to our society, our diversity, the economy and workforce.
Everyone needs a secure place to live and access to life's essentials at this time.
Migrant communities are at risk of facing severe economic hardship due to loss of employment and the inability to return to their home countries due to travel restrictions around the world and the danger of COVID-19.
If the government does not provide this emergency benefit, people may feel they have to fend for themselves and possibly break lock-down. That's a concern.
We are all in this together and we must all support one another to get through this. Granting benefits to migrants is the compassionate and healthy thing to do.