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 The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog