Budget services stretched

Manawatu Standard 19 March 2008

A Manawatu budget advice service is in such high demand it is having to turn some clients away as higher food prices, fuel costs and mortgage interest rates bite family wallets. “We’ve had piles of people. We’ve had to turn some of them away to another budget service,” Manawatu Home Budgeting Service manager Lynley Boyd said. “There are more new clients wanting assistance.” Some clients had been referred on to the church-based [email protected]service, she said. “They’re all noticing that food prices are going up. More and more people are getting their cars repossessed.” Some decided they couldn’t afford vehicle registration, she said.

…Lobby group Family First yesterday called for a tax break or tax relief and an assessment of “the true impact of cost rises on families”. “The demand for foodbanks is increasing, food and petrol prices are skyrocketing and mortgage rates are all adding to an increased burden of financial pressure,” Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said. “This is putting horrendous pressure on many families who are also dealing with beginning-of-year expenses, such as school fees, uniforms, stationery and sports fees,” he said. “When families are under financial pressure, this places pressure on relationships and the health and wellbeing of children. “It’s also a feeding ground for loan sharks to exploit desperate families,” he said.