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

 

Children fall further behind as transformation yet to come

Children fall further behind as transformational change is yet to come

Source: Child Poverty Action Group

--

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is heartened by the commentary from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in conversation with Jack Tame on TVNZ’s Q&A this past Monday.

"It’s good to hear the Prime Minister acknowledge what a huge job it is to reduce poverty and provide the housing infrastructure families need," says Janfrie Wakim, CPAG Co-Convenor.

"We trust that this means the Government will ramp up its efforts to reverse three decades of neglect, by adopting many of the urgent recommendations made by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group."

We agree that the Government’s goals for child poverty reduction are ambitious, but CPAG is very concerned about the delays in providing meaningful change to the 174,000 children living in households where income falls below the lowest, 40% after housing costs (AHC) poverty measure.

"While household income for some families will be lifted over the 50% line through the Government’s Families Package, the children living in the hardest of situations just fall further behind," says Associate Professor Susan St John, CPAG’s Economics Advisor.

"The lift in threshold for maximum Working for Families tax credits will have greatly helped families earning close to or above the new threshold of $42,700, but families on very low incomes are not so lucky," says St John.

"Families whose primary income is from a main benefit are still denied $72.50 per week of Working for Families for their children. Other low-income families may also miss out because they fail the strict hours of paid work test. This $72.50 per week extra could make all the difference to their children.

"As rent prices increase, and other costs of living surge, these families are at risk of falling further and further behind and amassing more debt just to survive. Core benefits have become out of touch with real living costs. Indexing benefits to wages in the future maybe a good policy in itself, but does nothing to restore adequacy."

The Prime Minister has indicated that child well-being is a foremost priority for her Government, but the transformational change that is needed to achieve it for New Zealand’s worst-off children is yet to be seen.

CPAG says to address urgent need, all low-income families must be given immediate access to the full Working for Families tax credits. Work-based criteria are discriminatory and harmful to children.

This would cost one-tenth of the cost of all the WEAG recommendations and should be seen as the critical first step to provide families the emergency support they desperately need.

The next step should be to increase all benefits substantially.

"CPAG would love the opportunity to discuss these policies with the Prime Minister prior to the release of the very important Cabinet Paper on welfare reforms to be released soon," says Wakim.

CPAG has joined with ActionStation Aotearoa calling on the Government to urgently implement the WEAG recommendations. View and sign the petition here, supporting welfare reforms that will assure well-being for all children and whānau.

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