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

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election