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

 


Adequate family incomes essential to reduce child poverty

2 September 2014: News from CPAG
Adequate family incomes essential to reduce child poverty


Child Poverty Action Group says making sure families have enough money to care for their children is a fundamental part of the solution to child poverty.

In a new policy paper on family incomes, CPAG recommends well supported benefits and tax credits, and an increase in the minimum wage to provide for the needs of children in low income families.

Adequate incomes to address child poverty is the fifth and last in a series of CPAG policy papers being released in the lead up to the 2014 election with recommendations for policy change to alleviate child poverty. The compilation Our Children, Our Choice will be published online and in hard copy on 9 September.

Co-author, Associate Professor Susan St John said, "It is unacceptable that families live in poverty because the social assistance system that is supposed to support them is not doing its job properly. The current debate tends to focus on other aspects of poverty as if cash income is not relevant. Of course improvements to health services, quality education, affordable and appropriate housing are vitally important, but families must also have enough weekly income to meet the needs of their children."

Current benefit policy is focused on moving people from a benefit into paid work, without considering the impact on children's health and well-being. Paid work can only be part of the strategy to reduce poverty. Beneficiaries with children often cannot take on paid work because of their personal circumstances, while others can't find work that allows them to meet their parenting obligations satisfactorily. Furthermore, paid work does not guarantee that children will move above the poverty line. 40% of children living in poverty are in working families.

CPAG also argues that social assistance for families with children is far too complicated and needs a complete overhaul. Susan St John said, "The system is a dog's breakfast. Navigating the maze of benefits, supplementary payments, family tax credits, abatements, shared care rules, hours of paid work requirements, reassessments, demands for payments, and penalties, is demanding even for experts.

"Without understanding how the various tax credits work, a sole parent is supposed to respond by getting a job, any job. The In Work Tax Credit, Family Tax Credit and others all have different rules. The required fixed weekly hours of work are far too difficult to police and monitor consistently in a modern, casualised labour market. Furthermore, parents at home looking after young children are already working but their contribution is devalued and their children side-lined."

CPAG has made ten recommendations to improve income support for families and address child poverty, including abolishing sanctions on the income of beneficiaries with dependent children, restoring the principle of equal treatment for all low income children and gaining cross party support for an overhaul of all parts of the welfare and tax credit system that affect families with children.

Download the full report here: Adequate incomes to address child poverty


Our Children, Our Choice brings together five policy papers released by CPAG in the lead up to the election and calls for cross party agreement to underpin an action plan to reduce child poverty in New Zealand.


---ENDS---

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news