Prime Minister needs to "get real" on social housing crisis

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The Prime Minister must stop talking about tax cuts while his government’s policies have led to New Zealanders sleeping in cars and garages, the Public Service Association says.

John Key has shoved the blame onto Work and Income, saying he’d be "amazed" if staffers there would leave people sleeping in their cars.

He admitted there was not enough emergency housing in South Auckland, but then went on to promise a $3 billion tax cut in next year’s budget.

PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says Mr Key needs to take a look at his government’s priorities.

"Our members in South Auckland are as horrified as anyone about the situation there.

"But this situation is due to the deliberate choices made by Mr Key and his ministers.

"They have carved up Housing New Zealand’s work and placed responsibility for assessments on the Ministry of Social Development.

"They have moved more and more services online, making it more difficult to talk to a real person and get the compassion and understanding our members want to offer them.

"Our members want to help, but this government’s policies are getting in the way."

Glenn Barclay says Mr Key and his ministers have lost touch with what’s going on in our most deprived communities.

"Mr Key is promising tax cuts while people live in their cars.

"He needs to get real - and help our members help vulnerable Kiwis."