Week in Politics: National's reshuffle and Labour shoots down benefit increase

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 3:07PM
Judith Collins announced her new caucus this week. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Judith Collins announced her new caucus this week. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Week in Politics: National's reshuffle and Labour shoots down benefit increase

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 14 Nov 2020, 3:07PM

The Greens are pushing Labour to treat debilitating poverty as a health issue - and fight it the same way it's tackling COVID-19.

More than 50 non-government organisations made the plea in an open letter to  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, as well as the  Social Development Minister and Finance Minister.

Ardern says she's considered it, but it won't be happening.

She says this is not an issue that gets resolved within one week, one month, or even one term in government.

Ardern's instead highlighted the $25-a-week increase to main benefit rates which the Government sped through during the pandemic - and the one-off doubling of the winter energy payment.

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson says people's struggles are being exacerbated by COVID-19 job losses - and with schools winding up for the year there'll be no extra support from them like lunches.

ZB political reporter Aaron Dahmen told Tim Dower this is likely the first point of contention between the two parties, which have an agreement to work together on government issues.

Elsewhere, National announced a caucus reshuffle. 

Leader Judith Collins today announced new deputy Shane Reti remains Health spokesperson, while Michael Woodhouse is taking on finance -- replacing Paul Goldsmith, who moves to Education.

Sitting at number three, Andrew Bayly will take on Shadow Treasurer and infrastructure and statistics, as part of the controversially split finance role.

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