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


Lost opportunity to address child poverty

Budget 2010: a lost opportunity to address child poverty

Every Child Counts says that yesterday’s Budget was better than expected with across the board income tax cuts a positive move for whanau and families.

“We are concerned however that these income gains will be eroded when the anticipated increase in inflation occurs,’ says Dennis McKinlay, of Every Child Counts* today.

“We are also disappointed that the government has not taken the opportunity to address child poverty.”

“The Ministry of Social Development’s 2009 Social Report showed that 20 per cent of dependent children were in households with incomes below the 60 per cent threshold. This was an increase from 16 per cent in 2007 and reflects the rise in housing costs for households with children.”

“They will suffer in the short and longer term as a consequence of yet another missed opportunity to address our continuing high rate of child poverty.

“One in five children today are missing out on food, healthcare, winter clothing, and adequate housing. It is particularly disturbing that this poverty is disproportionately located among Māori and Pasifika families, “adds Mr McKinlay.

“Let us be clear: we are talking of children arriving at school unfed and infants whose parents can’t afford to take them for after hours medical care for lung infections caused by inadequately heated or overcrowded homes. So great is the need that that the charitable Trust, KidsCan, has distributed over 35,000 raincoats through our schools.”

“But instead of addressing this obvious social need, the government has opted for tax cuts that will substantially increase income inequality in New Zealand, despite our levels of income inequality already being internationally high.”

“Of all the OECD countries, only Greece, Italy, Portugal, USA, Poland, Turkey, UK, and Mexico have greater income inequality.”

“The irony is that while we pursue taxation policies to improve productivity, we are failing to invest in our future work force. Investing in children now would also reduce future government spending. It is no accident that as economic policies have entrenched inequality over the past 20-30 years we have also seen a burgeoning in health, social services, justice and prison expenditure.

“The budget is being praised for the ‘once in a generation’ changes which are being made to our tax system. We are being assured that these changes will slow the brain drain and retain our skilled people to aid economic growth and that we will all benefit in the long run as productivity increases. But there is no acknowledgement that the current generation of children living in poverty could more productively contribute to our nation’s future if they were invested in today.”

“Improving national productivity without developing our human capital, children, can only lead to greater social alienation and continued high levels of government spending on social services the disadvantaged access”, he concludes.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote. We also acknowledge the men who supported the cause and voted for the Bill to pass.

“Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a female Prime Minister, we have women in cabinet. And I’m here as Acting Minister because the Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter is on maternity leave. New Zealand is a good place to be a woman!” More>>


Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>


'Post-Settlement Era': Māori Crown Agency To Be Established

Cabinet has approved the final scope of the Māori Crown portfolio and agreed to establish an agency to oversee Government’s work with Māori in a post-settlement era, announced Crown/ Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader... More>>


Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>


Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>


NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Ardern Pep Talk

The intolerance being shown as the coalition process unfolds in New Zealand betrays our depressing appetite for a tidily totalitarian style of government where everyone is expected to march in lockstep. More>>





InfoPages News Channels