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

 

Make eliminating child poverty New Zealand’s No.1 priority

Make eliminating child poverty New Zealand’s No.1 priority

Former Prime Minister Sir John Key, said as he was knighted for service to New Zealand, that the only regret he had from his ten years in office was not eliminating child poverty.

During those ten years, housing became tragically unaffordable for many while Working for Families (WFF), the incomes policy tool to address child poverty, was deliberately run down.

"Poor housing and lack of income for basics has blighted the lives of many young people who are our future," says Janfrie Wakim, CPAG Co-convenor.

"The high price is evident in poor educational outcomes, serious child health conditions, malnutrition, poor dental health and loss of productive contributions from these future adults and their parents."

As a member of the United Nations (UN), New Zealand has committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of halving child poverty by 2030.

"But the lack of affordable housing and insufficient income support make this goal a distant dream," says Wakim.

WFF tax credits are supposed to reduce poverty among families with children. However, from the outset the scheme deliberately bypassed 230,000 children in the poorest families who didn’t meet specific ‘hours of paid work’ and ‘off benefit’ criteria. The latest household incomes report, shows that families who were missed out of a vital part of WFF have not seen any significant reduction in their poverty.

The scheme itself has been deliberately and seriously eroded over the past seven years, due to policy changes, so that it is also failing low-income working families.

"A fundamental step to reducing child poverty is to extend the $72.50 of the In-Work Tax Credit to all low-income families irrespective of their hours of work or whether supported by a benefit," says Associate Professor Susan St John, spokesperson for CPAG’s Fix Working for Families campaign.

"This would cost around $500 million. The damage of neglect and actual reductions in the spending on WFF in the last seven years must be reversed. That cost is around $700 million."

WFF must then be properly indexed to stop its slow erosion.

CPAG urges all major political parties to agree to reform Working for Families as matter of top priority. Other vital cross-party commitments are needed around social and affordable housing, higher minimum wages and better, more secure, benefits.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ardern Speech: Justice Summit Opens

If we want to talk about an effective justice system, we shouldn’t start with a discussion about prisons, but a discussion about New Zealand...

We believe in a ‘fair go’. We are fair minded and like to give people a chance. Ensuring everyone is treated fairly is part of the fabric of our culture.

And equally, we are defined by what we don’t believe ourselves to be – and we certainly don’t feel like the kind of place that would have one of the highest incarceration rates in the western world, and yet we do. More>>

 

Christchurch Quake: New Red Zone Payment For Uninsured

The Government will pay former residential red zone owners 100% of the 2007/08 rateable value for uninsured homes, Minister Megan Woods has announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MP Pay And The REAL P.C. Danger Zone

There has never been anything remotely credible about the way parliamentarians would paint themselves as the helpless victims of the Remuneration Authority when it came to their pay increases... More>>

ALSO:

Repatriation: Remains Of NZ Service People Return Home

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Veterans Ron Mark say they were honoured to be with the families of service personnel as they welcomed their loved ones home. More>>

ALSO:

Cop Shop Top-Up: 1800 New Police Through NZ

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today confirmed further details around the allocation of the 1800 additional officers, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018... “These 1800 officers, alongside 485 support staff, will really enhance our work to keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe,” says Mr Bush. More>>

ALSO:

Human Right Commissions: Concern On Aged Care And Consent

A new report published by the Human Rights Commission raises concerns about the legal and human rights safeguards for an estimated 5000 elderly New Zealanders in secure dementia units and psychogeriatric facilities. More>>

ALSO:

Greens AGM: Leadership Stands Firm On Waka Jumping Bill

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government. Former MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the waka jumping bill. More>>

ALSO:

TOP Still Going, Actually: New Leader For Opportunities Party

New leader Geoff Simmons' aim as the leader of TOP is to take the party into Parliament at the next election where it can advocate and implement progressive reform in areas including fair taxation, cannabis legalisation, affordable housing, and environmental protection. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages