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Job losses compounded by loss of family assistance


Job losses compounded by loss of family assistance, say child advocates


With job losses appearing in an already worrying economic climate, New
Zealand is about to discover the flaws in the Working for Families package,
says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

“Families formerly on around $35,000 who join the queues at WINZ will find
that in-work payments for their children suddenly stop along with their paid
work. Caregivers will get at least $60 a week less to met the needs of their
children,” says CPAG economics spokesperson Dr Susan St John.

“In the good old days, the family benefit was there for all children and did
not disappear just because a parent lost their job. Family payments actually
went up, to cushion the blow,” St John observes.

Nowadays, it seems the only things to go up when families hit hard times are
the prices of basic food, fuel and utilities. For people in that situation,
$60 per week is often the difference between struggling to get by and being
left in poverty.

“Do families in Mosgiel really need to be denied this child payment so that
they have an incentive to get back to work?” asks Dr St John. “More
importantly, do children's needs diminish because their parents lose their

To protect children against poverty and its lifetime legacy of harm, Child
Poverty Action Group recommends extending the In-Work Tax Credit to all
families on low incomes, irrespective of the source of that income.



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