Cost of living crisis affecting mothers - Southland Express column

Originally published as a column in the Southland Express

Mums always try to do the best for their families, but as we approach Mother’s Day on Sunday (8/5) the current cost of living crisis is putting many under pressure.

A recent Westpac survey, looking at inflation, showed that one third of households feared they couldn’t cope financially, with groceries, petrol and household bills a major concern.

Significantly, the burden of this financial worry often falls on women, with 53 percent of female respondents extremely concerned about rising living costs, as opposed to 39 percent of men.

I meet these women around Invercargill and Southland - they are hardworking, kind and thoughtful.

Many of them, particularly mothers, handle the finances for the family, do the groceries, fuel the car, and carry the burden of worrying about rising costs.
It’s hard to hear that your money is worth less, when you have very little in the first place.

And it’s these mums who often make sacrifices - eating less dinner so their kids have more, sacrificing their clothes so the children have shoes, waiting longer for a haircut, missing a dental appointment, or doing an extra shift at work to make ends meet.

As we approach Mothers’ Day on Sunday, I want to acknowledge everything that these brave women do in tough financial times.

I’d also like to ask Finance Minister Grant Robertson to consider the sacrifice and worry that he expects mothers to cope with, while his Government continues to ignore the current cost of living crisis.