Duncan Garner: Benefit levels need to rise - it's good for the economy

OPINION: I'm not a socialist, but I support the call for benefit levels to rise. They can barely afford to live.

For a start, all the economists agree it would spread money around the community. It would be spent and not saved. 

It's near impossible to live properly on a benefit. It's not some junket. It traps the poorest New Zealanders into a life with not only little income, but stuff-all dignity.

The benefit cuts of 1991 still hurt. Imagine mum, dad and one child surviving on a benefit of $430 a week.

That's what it is - almost impossible unless they lived in a caravan.

The cat leapt from the bag when this Government announced a much bigger COVID unemployment benefit.

It's now impossible to survive on benefits in New Zealand at their current level, and the two big parties should get together and recognise this.

But, you know they won't. That would be far too constructive.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.