Reader soap box: Gap widening between rich and poor

A reader talks about the difficulty of trying to improve their lifestyle and move out of poorer areas of Auckland.

It appears if you live in the poor parts of West or South Auckland, that the National Government wants to keep you there.

How can you move ahead and get out of these areas if you are penalised for working night shifts for little extra money.

Low income earners ($13.50 per hour) are stuck thanks to National Government. As the gap widens between the rich and the poor it is difficult to get out of the rut and try to give yourself and your family a better lifestyle.

If my husband who works and is paid the minimum wage of $13.50 for a 40 hour week, takes on night-shift work for a little extra money (still in the 40 hour week) to hopefully get us out of the bad side of West Auckland this has  caused us to lose our Community Service Cards (I have a disability), and get  rejected for the first time for a rates rebate.

We are being penalised by the National Government.

We want to get ahead but we barely survive like hundreds of others living in these areas.

We budget, we are non-smokers, and have no debts apart from a mortgage, we have no credit cards, and we have no social life. We only get to eat out  once in a while, we can't afford to go to the movies, there are no weekends away,  We've not been on  holiday for nearly 3 years.

The only thing we have to look forward to is on the 7th November we can go watch a movie for a can of food from Watties so the money goes to all the food parcels and dinners held by the Salvation Army amongst other carers; my husband and I will probably attend through only managing to survive on his wages.

I never thought I would see the day where so many New Zealanders are getting poorer while the rich get richer.

In our local paper I see there is more bad news as apparently West Auckland will be targeted for a land rates rise. Our hope for a better life is being stomped on by a Government who only wants to bring us down.

- The Aucklander

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