Soaring inflation means many of us can’t make ends meet

make ends meet

A new study says one in four New Zealanders struggles at least once a month to make ends meet.

Inflation has hit 7.3 percent in the June quarter, the highest increase since 1990.

What people need and who’s seeking help is changing.

There’s an increase in demand for food parcel services. There’s been an “influx” in working class people looking for help to supplement their budgets. People are scared they’ll lose their homes.

The new study, by not-for-profit Orange Sky and conducted by YouGov, came up with some grim statistics. It surveyed 1001 over 18-year olds between 21 and 27 June 2022. It found over the 12 months before the survey:

Sixty-two percent struggled financially to make ends meet at least once. Twenty-seven percent struggle at least once a month.

Sixteen percent struggle to make ends meet at least once a week.

Fourteen percent couldn’t pay rent or bills and borrowed money or took out a loan.

Twelve percent missed a meal due to a lack of funds.

Four percent slept rough. Seven percent couch-surfed at friends’ homes.

Forty-four percent had to change their living circumstances because of rising living costs.

Forty-four percent missed social occasions due to financial struggles.

Fifty-four percent reported increased nervousness about their financial security.

Fifteen percent had experienced homelessness before.

The survey used Stats NZ’s definition for “homelessness”. This includes living in transient or overcrowded housing, on a friend’s couch or living on the street for a period of time.

Why – and what to do

Inflation is driven largely by rising rents and construction costs for new homes and commercial buildings, the study notes.

Petrol prices increased 32 per cent in the year to the June 2022 quarter, the largest annual increase since the June 1985 quarter.

The Government Budget 2022 sought ways to mitigate the inflationary effects.

People earning under $70,000 in the past year will receive $350 over three months to help. Petrol taxes will continue to be cut by 25c per litre until the start of February 2023.

One charity says many workers can’t feed their families. Currently, 130-150 food parcels are distributed each day – up from 70-80 a day last year.

“Everything’s for free. We do food parcels, cooked meals if somebody comes in and they’re hungry.” About 50-60 people come into the store every day.

Between rent, water rates, power, internet and the increasing price of petrol to go to work “… it’s absolutely killing people.

“For them to go to work, something has to give and unfortunately it’s the kai that (they) are giving (up).”

The charity is presently handing out around 10 blankets a day to families who are cold or can’t afford to pay for heating.

Orange Sky offers a free mobile laundry and shower service for people experiencing homelessness.

A non-judgemental listening ear is a necessary and effective part of the service, besides clean clothes, showers and blankets, Orange Sky says.

The Sudsy Challenge

Orange Sky’s 2022 Sudsy Challenge is challenging everyone to wear the same clothes for three consecutive days. The aim is to spark meaningful conversations and reduce stigmas about homelessness:



Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

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