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

 


Supreme Court no route to Justice for 230,000 NZ children

29 September 2013: News from CPAG  

Child Poverty Action Group says Supreme Court no route to Justice for 230,000 New Zealand children.

Child Poverty Action Group has decided not to pursue its long-running human rights case in the Supreme Court but will continue to battle for the rights of New Zealand's poorest children.

Earlier this year CPAG sought a declaration from the Court of Appeal that the In Work Tax Credit (IWTC), worth at least $60 a week for the support of children in low-income families, unjustifiably discriminates against families on benefits.

While the Court of Appeal found the IWTC is discriminatory and causes material harm to the families who miss out, they were not prepared to rule that it is unjustified because it incentivised paid work.

Spokesperson Associate Professor Susan St John says, "There is little to encourage us to think the answer at the Supreme Court would be different to that of the Court of Appeal."

"We have concluded that the courts are not ready or equipped to give a rational decision on justification, other than on the same grounds of narrow case reasoning without a real understanding either of how so many children are seriously harmed and their rights ignored, or of the economics of in work benefits and their proper design."

St John says parenting is challenging and expensive work, even for the well-resourced. "It is hard to imagine any justification to depart from the principle of treating all children in low income families equally for all child-related payments.  This is especially true when the discriminatory treatment perpetuates child poverty."

"Our case has raised awareness of serious harm to around 230,000 of the most disadvantaged children in New Zealand. Unfortunately the damage continues and is tragic for the families and our society."

"It is shameful that policies that contravene treaties that New Zealand is signatory to, like United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) can be ignored by policymakers, with the courts not yet prepared to hold them to account. It is clear that the IWTC is a payment for children to alleviate poverty that is denied to the poorest children and this falls foul of our international and domestic human rights obligations.

The politicians will no longer be able to sidestep questions on the IWTC by saying that it is still before the courts and this issue will clearly be one for the election."

Working for Families is a tax-funded child-related fortnightly payment to the caregiver. The full package, including the IWTC, has been successful in reducing child poverty for families in paid work. To quote the Ministry of Social Development's own report on household incomes 2012:

"The fall in child poverty rates from 2004 to 2007 for children in one-Full Time -one-workless 2 Parent households was very large (28% to 9%), reflecting the Working For Families impact, especially through the In-work Tax Credit."

For those who missed out on the IWTC however, the Ministry itself says

"From 2007 to 2012, [the poverty rates were] around six to seven times higher for children in workless households.  This to a large degree reflects the greater WFF assistance for working families than for beneficiary families."

CPAG will continue to fight for the rights of New Zealand's poorest children says St John. "The most effective way to reduce child poverty is to give children's payments to all low-income children on the same basis. A policy that relies on paid work cannot be a solution to child poverty in all families."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. This time around, a couple of parliamentary Undersecretary posts in education and regulatory reform have been thrown in, plus an annual salary of $175,000 while he learns the ropes. Shouldn’t Seymour at least be put on a 90 day trial before he gets his hands on that sort of serious moolah?

It would be for his own good, really. At this rate, Act is never going to learn how to make its own way in the world More>>

 

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

'Safe To Re-Enter' - OIA Docs: Safety Is Absolute Priority At Pike River Mine

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Ms Dunphy says. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Images & Report: Mihi To Welcome Newly-Elected MPs To Parliament

The 29 newly elected MPs were welcomed into Parliament with a Mihi. Parliament’s current Speaker David Carter offered advice from his experience working in Parliament advising the MPs to work collaboratively. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Very Bad Year

While Labour leader David Cunliffe still appears to be in denial about the extent of Saturday night’s debacle, there was hardly a single redeeming feature about the election results for the centre-left... More>>

ALSO:

General Election NZ: National Win

Election Night: With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose. Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party. More>>

ALSO:

Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news