“This year there will be thousands of families who won’t be able to afford Christmas. They have no Christmas tree and their children will wake up on Christmas morning in a cold damp house with no presents and no food,” said UCAN’s chairperson Debbie Leyland to the group of 60 gathered in front of parliament. Protest organiser, youth advisor to UCAN and beneficiary Stacey Ryan said it wasn’t just parents and children locked in poverty by the inadequate income support rates.
“Disabled and chronically ill people all over Aotearoa need help, and we need it now. This is not just about Christmas, this is about survival,” said Ryan.