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 Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

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