Families cannot afford cuts to essential social services, according to the latest Vulnerability Report from the NZ Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS).
The report shows that more families are finding they cannot provide the essentials for their children and are seeking support from social service agencies, said Trevor McGlinchey, from NZCCSS.
"This is impacting on young peoples’ ability to achieve their potential and resulting in anger and tension in families.
“The many, many families who are either on benefits or have had their incomes seriously reduced because one parent has lost their job, or because of reduced hours, are finding life incredibly stressful.
“They are unable to pay their rent and bills and put good food on the table. And children don’t get access to the opportunities that once existed because there is no money for sports subs, tuition fees and pocket money.
“Queues for foodbanks, budget advice, emergency housing and family counselling were the highest they have ever been – even before February 22. Now the pressure across all of New Zealand is at boiling point.
“We need a Budget that delivers jobs and provides for more community-based services so that stressed-out families get the support they need.”
Mr McGlinchey said NZCCSS is committed to a fairer and more equal country where all New Zealanders, particularly children and young people, get the opportunities they need to develop into healthy and contributing members of our society.
“NZCCSS members will continue to work closely with families and vulnerable people. We are heading for an incredibly difficult winter and we must find ways to support our impoverished families, children and young people.
“We are looking to the Government to help us provide this additional support”.
• Vulnerability Reports are downloadable from www.justiceandcompassion.org.nz