Between July 2010 and April 2011, Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) interviewed eleven families who were representative of their client base. The intent was to gather information on the changes the families either experienced or put in place to mitigate the effects of the increase in GST (1 October 2010, from 12.5% to 15%), rising prices and an uncertain economic environment as New Zealand moved out of its recession.
During the course of the interviews the government instituted the Future Focus policy direction and, allied to this, the Welfare Working Group reported on possible directions for consultation. Behind both of these initiatives was an expectation that all people of working age who are currently dependent on the government can, and will, be encouraged into paid employment.
Ensuring that families and individuals have sufficient income to meet their basic needs (food, clothing, warm housing and medical care) is a priority; whether those families and individuals are on a benefit or a wage.
Can We Do Better 2008
As in previous reports PSO noted that juggling income, debt, inadequate housing, health and transport difficulties and parenting responsibilities is how people below the poverty line live their lives.
The report concludes with recommendations for action by government, local bodies and the public sector. Has the landscape changed? For New Zealand – yes; we have been through a recession and survived. For the “voices of poverty” – no; for many, their landscape is as bleak as it ever was and for some the future doesn’t look great either.
• Has the Landscape Changed? 2011 (PDF, 7.17 MB)
• Can We Do Better 2008 (PDF, 1.52 MB)
• Old Cold and Costly 2004 (PDF, 2.98 MB)
• How Much is Enough : 2003 update (PDF, 137.16 KB)
• How Much Is Enough : 2002 research (PDF, 4.15 MB)
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr