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Coalition of cruelty punishing people for being poor – Tamatha Paul

Kicking the most vulnerable people out of state housing and pushing them towards homelessness will result in a proliferation of poverty and trauma across our most vulnerable communities.

“In true National Party fashion, the Government is seeking to define a category of undeserving poor people. Ignorant to the consequences of poverty, people living in state housing are now in the Government’s firing line,” says Green Party housing spokesperson Tamatha Paul.

“Today’s announcement that the Government will evict more state housing tenants, despite there being nowhere else for them to go, marks the latest episode in the coalition’s series of assaults against people and communities who need support the most.

“It is particularly cruel for the Government to look to punish state housing tenants for struggling to pay rent at a time when it is actively reducing benefits and the income of struggling households.

“Poverty is a political choice and during the campaign we showed that it is possible to clear the public housing waitlist by building 35,000 new healthy, affordable, public houses over the next five years.

“Having access to housing is fundamental for people to reach their full potential, to be able to raise a family and have a stable income. We need to build more houses and lift all incomes to liveable levels.

“We’ve made great progress over the last six years in building up our state housing stock and treating tenants with dignity. This move completely undermines that.

“Rents are through the roof and it is unreasonable to expect those living below the poverty line to miraculously endure the cost pressures and discrimination within the private rental market.

“Everybody deserves a home, regardless of who they are or where they come from. Housing is a basic human right and to deny someone that right because the Government deems some tenants as unworthy will exacerbate homelessness and social deprivation.

“The Government must commit to building more homes, not just lining the pockets of landlords.

“This politics of punishment from the coalition must come to an end before it does irreparable damage to communities who have historically been let down, time and time again, by successive Governments,” says Tamatha Paul.

 

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