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Eye to Eye with Willie Jackson

Eye to Eye with Willie Jackson

The Child Poverty Action Group has criticised the Government’s new Working For Families scheme for making beneficiaries of families who shouldn’t be.

Appearing on TV ONE’s Eye to Eye with Willie Jackson on Saturday morning (July 29), CPAG spokesman Alan Johnson said Working For Families, which came into force on April 1, was expanding the welfare state to move working families into becoming beneficiaries of the state.

Johnson said it would be better to bring about a universal family benefit such as we had 20 years ago. “There was no stigma attached to getting it and there’s no abatement of income.”

CPAG has also been publicly critical of Working For Families because it doesn’t reach the children of beneficiaries.

The Eye to Eye panel was debating poverty in New Zealand, and whether the Government is doing the right things to combat it.

Fellow panelist, National MP Georgina te Heuheu echoed Alan Johnson’s criticism of the Working For Families scheme, agreeing that it was making beneficiaries of people who weren’t, and that it wasn’t reaching some of the people who needed it most. She expressed concern about the high number of Maori children in need who were not being helped by it because their parents were beneficiaries.

But Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia and United Future Deputy Leader Judy Turner defended Working For Families, saying the scheme would help a lot of people who needed it, and was a step in the right direction.

Eye to Eye will be repeated on TV ONE on Tuesday August 1 at 11pm.

The full transcript for the programme is available on www.frontofthebox.co.nz.


Ends

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