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CPAG Case Bad For NZ Children

Media Release
CPAG Case Bad For NZ Children
Thursday, 5 June, 2008

While the ACT Party does not support the Child Poverty Action Group's case against the government we acknowledge that many families with children are struggling.

"Unfortunately raising benefit levels, the aim of the CPAG, would have a detrimental effect on children. International research has shown that an increase in welfare payments is associated with an increase in the number of people becoming single parents and claiming benefits, especially teenagers. Those single parents who start on welfare as teenagers tend to stay on welfare the longest. The vast majority of those children the CPAG is advocating for come from one parent homes. "

"If the In Work tax credit was granted to beneficiary families the incentive to leave welfare would be significantly reduced - the incentive to stay on welfare would be significantly boosted."

"ACT has always taken the long-term view. If we are to reduce the number of New Zealand children who are disadvantaged by growing up in relative poverty, we need to reduce reliance on welfare. In the interim ACT strongly supports those community groups who are working with struggling families providing budgeting advice, practical help and emotional support. These things are often far more important than how much money goes into the bank account each week."

"It is also ironic that today's pervasive rights-based culture that has made this case possible leaves the taxpayer footing the cost of the case for and the case against the government. What happened to taxpayer's rights?"

Lindsay Mitchell
ACT Hutt South Candidate

Lindsay Mitchell has been researching and commenting on welfare since 2001. Many of her articles have been published in mainstream media and she has appeared on radio,tv and before select committees discussing issues relating to welfare.


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