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

 


Entrenched child poverty no cause for celebration

Entrenched child poverty no cause for celebration

Child Poverty Action Group says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand's poorest children should expect a far greater level of ambition for their well-being.

Spokesperson Assoc Prof Michael O'Brien said, "We are living in an era of severely diminished expectations if a small reduction in child poverty, back to 2008/9 levels, is hailed as progress. These numbers have been around now for the best part of two decades and give no cause for celebration. In effect we have accepted a terrible situation, which affects the lives of one in four children, as the 'new normal'. Clearly, child poverty is too big to be dealt with by the Government's current piecemeal approach. This problem requires an immediate and substantive response from government, especially around income improvements for our most vulnerable citizens."

Michael O'Brien said new data released by the Ministry of Social Development indicates those living below the poverty line are worse off than before, and that children in beneficiary households are in a desperate position due to the inadequacy of benefits.

"Government spending on income support for families under Working for Families is gradually falling over time and many parts of it are not properly adjusted for inflation. Poorly designed children's income support is a major factor perpetuating child poverty. Removing the discrimination of the In Work Tax Credit would significantly reduce poverty."

The MSD's Household Incomes report says, "there is evidence here that there is a growing gap between the incomes of those heavily reliant on the safety net provided by main working-age benefits, and the rest." Michael O'Brien said, "Given there was a rise of 4% in median real income for households between 2011 and 2013 it is clear that beneficiary incomes are falling behind wages at an even faster rate than previously.

"The Minister has said the government recognises more needs to be done to support our most vulnerable families. Acknowledging that child poverty is a problem for New Zealand is an important first step to finding effective solutions."

Michael O'Brien said government needs to take a comprehensive strategic approach to child poverty, to address the issues effectively. This requires having an official measure of child poverty and targets to reduce it. "While child poverty is already monitored and measured by the Ministry of Social Development in these comprehensive annual reports, what is missing is the commitment to achieving improvements in a meaningful way."

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Labour: Healthy Homes Bill Passes First Reading

Some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children and families are on their way towards safer living conditions with the passing of the first reading of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill in Parliament last night, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire: Home, And A Way

The one thing even more popular than an Auckland house is offering advice on how to afford an Auckland house. So, on the grounds it can’t be worse than some of the stuff that’s out there, here’s my three cents* worth. [*Up 50% since 2013!] More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news