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


Income support proposals fail


Income support proposals fail children, say advocates

26 October, 2006

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is concerned that the proposed changes to the treatment of beneficiaries announced today appear to have overlooked the needs of children in a drive to push parents into the workforce.

“Children’s needs do not seem to be part of the ‘work first’ picture. Secure, adequate family income – not parental employment - is the first important requirement of child wellbeing,” says CPAG economics spokesperson Dr Susan St John.

“This government has failed to lift benefit incomes since coming to power. Net income gains from the generous Working for Families package have been nearly nil for 175,000 children in families on benefits. The present focus on getting parents into work ignores the woefully inadequate income many families endure,” said Dr St John.

CPAG health spokesperson, paediatrician Professor Innes Asher, expressed concern about the proposed changes. “National health statistics show that New Zealand's large income gap contributes to the poor health of low-income earners and their children. The failure to address these low incomes is bad news for the kids in our poorest families."

CPAG is also concerned about the effects on the wider community. “Community workers tell us they have grave concerns for the children of parents pushed off benefits into unsuitable jobs,” says researcher Donna Wynd.

"Here we have a government that refuses to acknowledge that caring for children makes a worthwhile contribution to society. Looking after children is real work, but only if someone else is paid to do it. Sole parents need much better support and recognition of the importance of their parenting role. Even more worrying is that there may be sanctions of up to 50% of a household’s benefit for failures to comply with new work requirements,” Wynd says.

Dr St John also expressed concern that the legislation, due out in December, would be rushed through without full public consultation and input. “It is important that these major changes are scrutinised through the select committee process,” she said. “Everyone has an interest in our children’s wellbeing, and the legislative process must reflect this.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news