Advocacy groups launch petition as face of poverty changes

Working families are the biggest group to be affected by poverty according to recent figures.

Advocacy groups want to see more funding for vulnerable families in the upcoming budget. Source: 1 NEWS

Ten years ago 85% of clients at Mangere Budgeting Services were beneficiaries - today only 37% are - the rest are working families.

Chief Executive Darryl Evans says many working families simply aren't earning enough to pay for food, rent and bills.

"There is no overtime for the most part now so people are really surviving on the 35-40 hour week and then having to go to foodbanks or social agencies like ourselves to ask for assistance".

Child advocacy groups including UNICEF NZ have launched a petition calling for action on child poverty in the upcoming budget.

UNICEF NZ Child Rights Advocacy Manager Deborah Morris Travers says low income families, whether working or otherwise, need support so their children are not living in poverty.

She says there are many myths around poverty and irresponsible spending but the reality is quite different.

"We need to as a nation focus on the fact this is about the wellbeing of our youngest citizens - when they do well we all do well."

Figures analysed from the latest Household Expenditure Survey show low income and beneficiary households spend less on alcohol and a greater percentage of their income on food than high income households.