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

 

Fewer sanctions will support the wellbeing of children

Fewer sanctions will support the wellbeing of children


Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) joins Auckland Action Against Poverty, the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation and ActionStation in applauding the easing of disciplinary action for benefit recipients, under less stringent welfare practices.

The December 2018 quarterly statistics from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) show that approximately 8500 sanctions had been applied, a decrease of more than 6000 compared to the previous year.

An extensive study on welfare conditionality presented in 2018 from UK research reported that benefit sanctions "do little to enhance people’s motivation to prepare for, seek, or enter paid work. They routinely trigger profoundly negative personal, financial, health and behavioural outcomes and push some people away from collectivised welfare provision".

The report also found that "the provision of appropriate and meaningful support, rather than sanction, is pivotal in triggering and sustaining both paid employment and positive change such as the reduction of anti-social or problematic behaviours."

"Aotearoa’s welfare system is in need of a thorough overhaul, and CPAG is expecting significant changes pending the report back from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group," says Associate Professor Mike O’Brien, CPAG social security and children’s welfare spokesperson.

"We are pleased to see that, ahead of the report, the Government is taking a less harsh approach to supporting those who are most in need, as punitive measures that reduce already meagre incomes are likely to have devastating impacts for children.

"We remain particularly concerned about the application of Section 70A sanctions that reduce the Sole Parent Support benefit for recipients who cannot identify the other parent, which Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has herself expressed concern over," says O'Brien.

A report by the MSD released to Newshub journalists in 2017 under the Official Information Act revealed that there was not sufficient evidence to confirm if the Section 70A sanctions "achieve the policy’s intent", and "compared to other sole parents, clients affected by Section 70A have higher risk factors for long-term welfare receipt and hardship". The sanctions penalise them for "making a choice they view as being in the best interests of their child."

Research recently released by the MSD recognises that poverty in a child’s early years can have serious impacts on their emotional development later in life, as well as impacting on maternal mental health.

"The impact of poverty on the mental health of mothers parenting in the early years may have long-term effects for their children’s outcomes. It is critical, for the sake of children, to ensure that mothers who receive a benefit have access to all the supports that they need without exacerbated poverty and harm caused by systemic punishments," says O’Brien.

"There is no way that a child, whose experience of life may already be impacted by hardship, should experience deeper poverty as a result of a punishment aimed at preventing what’s been referred to as "fathers shirking their parenting and financial duties".

CPAG is hopeful that the Government’s Budget 2019 will prioritise welfare reforms that will aid in reducing poverty for children and families, especially those most affected, including the abolishing of sanctions that increase poverty and negatively impact on children’s lives.

CPAG has also set out 17 practical recommendations to improve the lives of thousands of children whose families are reliant upon the welfare system to meet their basic needs.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels