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

 


Children affected by benefit sanctions remain invisible

Children affected by benefit sanctions remain invisible


Child Poverty Action Group says the welfare of children affected by the government's benefit sanctions remains a deep concern.

In its second policy monitoring report on benefit sanctions, CPAG says the Ministry of Social Development has provided only minimal information about benefit sanctions on clients with children, in response to an Official Information Act request. The information does not include the number of children affected by benefit sanctions on parents, or how long the sanctions last.

Spokesperson Associate Professor Michael O'Brien said, "The government has argued that welfare reform is 'good for children' but children's needs are invisible in this picture. The critical question has to be the number of children affected by benefit sanctions and for how long. When families spend time on a very reduced income, with benefits cut by half, it inevitably has major consequences for children."

CPAG is calling for transparent monitoring of benefit sanctions, particularly for sole parents, as recommended by the Welfare Working Group. Michael O'Brien said, "We need more robust and transparent information than that provided by Ministerial press releases. The government should monitor the effect of sanctions on children, and also whether people are moving off and on benefits within a short space of time. It is important to assess whether the system is creating additional hardship by churning people in and out of the benefit system."

CPAG calls on the Ministry of Social Development to publish regular data on:

• the number of sanctions imposed by grade of sanction and benefit type;

• the reason the sanction has been imposed;

• the number of clients with children who have had their benefits suspended or cancelled;

• how many children are affected by these suspensions and cancellations;

• the length of time the suspension/cancellation was active (and the number of children affected);

• a breakdown of these figures by age-group of the child, and region.

• how many beneficiaries with children have left a benefit to go into work;

• how many beneficiaries with children have moved back onto a benefit within 6 and 12 months.

This would help the public to assess the effect of sanctions on children and the extent of churn in the welfare system, which also impacts on children. The full report is available here - Benefit Sanctions: Children not seen - not heard

- ENDS -

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greek Riddles:
Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth?

It seems to have. The EU still exists. Syriza is now claiming a victory of sorts. It doesn’t help that the only people who do appear to be sure (the Greeks buckled) are claiming the exact opposite to what the other group (the Greeks won!) are saying. Plus, there are bets either way e.g. Bloomberg News: “Its too early to say who caved in to whom.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news