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


Latest changes to welfare benefits place children at risk

Latest changes to welfare benefits place children living in poverty further at risk.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has criticised the government's new welfare initiatives for placing vulnerable children living in poverty further at risk.

CPAG spokesperson Assoc. Professor Mike O'Brien says the new legislation picks up the recommendations of the Welfare Working Group (WWG) and focuses on moving people off welfare rather than providing an adequate and secure income for children.

Assoc. Prof O'Brien says families struggling on low incomes are often poorly housed or move frequently and have limited access to primary healthcare. "These children are already vulnerable and as of today they are even more at risk."

"Already hundreds of families with children have had their benefits cut and this new legislation increases the chances of this happening. Paula Bennett needs to explain how cutting benefits to families fits with her desire to protect vulnerable children."

"Neither the WWG nor the government has demonstrated that the new obligations are actually required or whether they will be effective. Nor have they demonstrated that the behaviour of beneficiary parents is so different from everyone else that these intrusive new obligations are required."

The new legislation effectively lowers the compulsory schooling age for the children of beneficiaries to three years old, as it requires the children of beneficiaries to attend early childhood education.

"Our research suggests that the biggest barrier to children not participating in Early Childhood Education is a lack of affordable facilities in poorer areas. It's not good enough that these parents are now subject to sanctions should their children not be attending ECE, yet there have been no serious efforts to address the shortage of affordable day care," says Assoc. Prof O'Brien.

Instead of targeting beneficiary parents, the government needs to pay more attention to ensuring there are secure, well paid jobs available for all parents when they are able to take up paid work said Assoc. Prof O'Brien.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news