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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news