Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Real Budget commitment for poorest needed

17 May, 2005

Real Budget commitment for poorest needed, say child advocates

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling for Budget 05 to demonstrate long-term commitment to the wellbeing of all of NZ's poorest children.

Last year's Budget announced the Working for Families package. April 2005 was the first time for nine years that low income families received any increase in their financial support from the Government," says CPAG economics spokesperson Dr Susan St John. For some families, it was generous. For others it was only a partial catch-up for past neglect, leaving them in some cases only "no worse off".

CPAG is concerned that much-needed money in the form of the Child Tax credit is still being withheld from families receiving government benefits. Worse, in 2006, government plans to use the new In Work Payment to replace the Child Tax Credit. The introduction of inflation adjustment for child-related payments is welcome future-proofing, but is not coming in until 2008. An extensive and long-term programme is needed to help families get out of poverty.

"We understand why the government may want to give work incentives, but depriving children who have no control over how their parents get their income is not the way to go about it," says Dr St John. "The Budget needs to deliver real assistance and encouragement to struggling families. It must improve their current living standards, give them hope for the future and not punish children because their parents are getting state support."

CPAG believes the 2005 Budget at minimum needs to contain:

1. A commitment to halving child poverty by 2010 and to a clear goal of eliminating child poverty by 2015-2020 - much like the UK government's promises and action s of the last five years. 2. Extension of the Child Tax Credit to all low income families (not just those independent of the state). Removal of all discrimination in child-related payments based on source of parental income. 3. An increase in the family support abatement threshold to $38,000. 4. Immediate indexation of all aspects of family assistance on the same basis as other welfare payments 5. A substantial programme for lifting low income families out of housing-related poverty over the next 5 years. 6. Adequate funding and an immediate implementation of policy to make all health care free for those aged under 18, fully covering medical, dental and disability needs.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election