Working families are the biggest group to be affected by poverty according to recent figures.
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”.
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.
If it was only just alcohol. There are so many other ways a family can come off the rails. Shopping trucks, car payments, gambling, poor food choices (takeaways), hire purchase and ballooning credit card interest just to mention a few.
Loaves of bread are now $1 each. Apples are on special at $0.99 a kilo. Rolled oats and Weetbix make for very healthy, filling and cost effective solutions. Rice, potatoes and pasta are extremely cheap when purchased in bulk and when on special. Buy fruit and veges as they are plentiful in the season. Frozen mixed veges have been tested and declared to have the same nutritional value as fresh.
You can eat cheaply if you need to. These people will still be making poor choices, even though the advisory service says that alcohol is less of a factor these days. That’s good news, but alcohol never was the only reason people are terrible at spending money wisely.
– One News