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

 

New data must take child welfare into consideration

New data must take child welfare into consideration

Source: Child Poverty Action Group

--

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) says that attention to the well-being of children from families recently off benefits must be at the fore of new data analysis if the undertaking is to be meaningful.

Minister for Children Anne Tolley expressed an intention to analyse more recent data, after the Superu report released last week. However the Superu report data pre-dates welfare reforms that included changes to Working for Families (WFF) as well as sanctions for non-compliant beneficiaries. The Superu report, using data from July 2010 to June 2011, investigates what happened to 140,000 people after leaving the benefit, and whether the transition to work or study was long-term.

The report is silent on children. It does not consider the impact on the lives of children in poverty, and it fails to collect information about whether families and individuals are financially better off after the benefit. There are indicators that being off-benefit may not significantly improve the situation for many children in poverty, including the 40% of children living beneath the poverty line (less than 60% of the median income after housing costs) who have at least one parent working in full-time employment. Ministry of Social Development research has shown that a staggering half of all children suffering material hardship come from working families.

Findings by researcher Alicia Sudden suggest that the situation for many who come off the benefit may even be worsened, and the quarterly benefit figures, which show a lower number of sole parents on benefits do not show evidence of an improvement in livelihood. Sole parents who are pushed off benefits may face difficulties imposed by casual and insecure work conditions that compound with the immediate needs of children. The Superu report found that the rate of return to a benefit was high among sole parents.

While a transition off-benefits and into work or study is a positive step, other factors such as low pay for unskilled work may mean that children in low-income families are still likely to suffer from material hardship.

Of real concern is the rise in the working poor as a consequence of Government policy. According to the Superu report, of the 33% (46,000) who were employed two years after coming off a benefit, 90% had monthly earnings of $1,180 or more (before tax), which was equivalent to the minimum hourly wage for 20 hours per week.

It is impossible to conceive of how parents on that income can pay rent and feed their children, let alone save, even with other supplemental payments.

Meanwhile the Government continues the policy of eroding WFF tax credits for the working poor.

"It is a good thing that Ms Tolley is prepared to take a better look at the data - but the data must be quality and look at multiple variables. To consider only the return to benefit figures is to be blind to the current situation for many who are in low-paid jobs or without income entirely," says Associate Professor Mike O’Brien, CPAG's social security spokesperson.

"A key consideration should be whether there is improvement in the quality of life for the children and individuals who are no longer benefit-dependent."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Budget

It may seem like Oliver to be so bold as to ask the Finance Minister for more gruel – but what the Dickens, Steven Joyce… is this Budget really as good as it gets?

Supposedly, the public was going to receive significant rewards – an election year lolly scramble no less – for the eight years of belt tightening that they’ve endured, and for the rundown of essential public services.

Well, what Budget 2017 delivered instead in Education and in Health were allocations barely sufficient to maintain the current levels of service delivery More>>

Scoop Full Coverage: of Budget Announcements & Reaction
Latest: Scoop Search

 
 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog