26 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: Social service providers and community groups get $27 million boost

4:24 pm on 26 March 2020

Social service providers and community groups are getting a $27 million boost so they can continue to provide essential support during the lockdown.

Carmel Sepuloni, Minister of Social Development.

Carmel Sepuloni said self isolation can mean an increased risk of family violence. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said some of the funding will be used to ensure people have access to food and other essentials.

There will also be money to make sure people have a place to live, support the disabled, and keep families safe from harm and offer crisis support.

Sepuloni said self-isolation can mean the risk of family violence increases, so the government is making sure support services remain available.

Unemployment rates are predicted to soar as a result of the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub compared the Covid-19 crisis to the Great Depression and said the unemployment rate could rise to up to 30 percent, while New Zealand Institute of Economic Research senior economist Kirdan Lees estimated it would rise by up to 15 percent.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said unemployment is going to be significantly worse than the global financial crisis and although the government will help cushion the blow, but it cannot save every business.

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