500 signatures reached
To: Honorable Carmel Sepuloni, Rt Honorable Jacinda Ardern
Support families in need. Extend the Winter Energy Payment
We, the undersigned, call on you to permanently extend the Winter Energy Payment to all people receiving government income support.
Why is this important?
As New Zealanders, we believe in justice and compassion. We want everyone to have the opportunity to thrive. But, right now, hundreds of thousands of people in our country are living in poverty.
Despite our differences, we share a responsibility to make sure everyone has a decent standard of living and the same chances in life. Poverty in New Zealand affects people of all ages and situations – children and their parents, young adults, people in and out of work and people with disabilities.
The stress that comes with poverty can erode people’s mental and physical health. Showing compassion as a society means making sure no-one has to endure the harms of poverty.
On October 1, 2020, the Winter Energy Payment that is provided to people on government income support, to assist with heating a home, is due to expire. This will cut the already low incomes for people locked in poverty by $63 a week for couples and $41 a week for an individual. But as research has shown, $40 - $60 less per week means not being able to go to the dentist or doctor, not being able to afford emergency bills and not being able to pay for kids to participate in extracurricular activities like sports, art or volunteering.
At a time where food banks are reporting record demand and the number of people needing government income support had its biggest jump in 24 years in April, the government needs to show some compassion.
By permanently extending the Winter Energy Payment, the government can help make it possible for everyone to do well.