Group pushes to remove welfare discrimination

Ms St John said food banks are pushed to the limits during the holiday season (Getty)
Ms St John said food banks are pushed to the limits during the holiday season (Getty)

A group working against child poverty is hoping the Government's promise of a "tax and family package" will equate to a better system to helping struggling families.

John Key recently made comments hinting at potentially shaping the budget surplus into better support for families.

Minister of Finance Bill English has recently agreed that Working for Families (WFF) is a good way for funds to reach "the families with children and families that are on low incomes".

But the Child Poverty Action group wants to remind people it isn't all-inclusive.

CPA group spokeswoman Susan St John says strict regulations around hours of work and other income means many families are left out in the cold.

The Child Poverty Monitor reports that 47 percent of children living in poverty have at least one working adult in the family.

Ms St John said by removing the discrimination they would be delivering $72.50 per week into the hands of the families that need it most.

She said if things don't improve, queues at food banks will continue to grow.

"Goodness knows what's going to happen at Christmas. Last Christmas it was much worse than the previous Christmas and there's nothing to indicate we're not going to see much of the same this time round."

Ms St John hopes that means the Government may remove the off-benefit rule and work hours criteria.

"There's all sorts of problems when we have redundancies or natural disasters and families lose hours of work, and suddenly their children lose access to what is a very significant amount of money," she said.