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


Families heralded but the poorest kids left out

9 November 2005

Good moves for families heralded but the poorest kids left out

The Speech from the Throne confirmed that from next year the government will extend its Working for Families package, including subsidies for childcare. This is welcomed by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) as the move recognises the greater costs faced by parents compared with other taxpayers.

But CPAG says it is misleading for the Governor General to claim that the change "will mean tax relief for every low and middle income family with children in New Zealand." In fact the second phase of the Working for Families package offers nothing to the 250,000 poorest children in New Zealand.

These children won't get any benefit from the government's generous new In Work Payment, nor do they benefit from raising the threshold for family support and reducing the rate at which it abates.

"If this generous package is really about supporting children, why exclude the most vulnerable? And if it's really about poverty elimination, as the government wants to claim, why exclude the poorest?" says CPAG's finance spokesperson Dr Susan St John.

"In fact, this is about rewarding participation in our tight labour market. But why use children to do it? And why do it at the expense of helping those whose needs are greatest?

"The latest changes only shunt the poorest kids further to the back of an already long queue, when they urgently need to be first in line," says Dr St John. "Working for Families will give generous tax cuts to families whose budgets are stretched - but in the process completely neglect those struggling on incomes which everybody knows are grossly inadequate."

The April launch of this latest policy will mark 10 years of this kind of discrimination. The In Work Payment is only a beefed-up version of the Child Tax Credit introduced by the National government initiative in 1996.

CPAG says this is unconscionable, especially given the now-abundant evidence of high levels of severe, entrenched child poverty in this country dating back to 1991 and before. Government's own figures show that at least one in five kiwi kids were living in poverty in 2004.

Poverty for even a short time can cripple a child's potential for a lifetime through lower health status and levels of educational achievement. It is time for the government to remedy this with inclusive policies for all children.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mayor of Auckland: Alert Level Change Welcome News

Mayor Phil Goff says the government’s decision to move Auckland to Level 2 from 6am on Sunday will be welcome news for all Aucklanders.
“Moving strongly and quickly to contain this outbreak has once again proved effective in stopping the spread of community transmission and I thank all the Aucklanders who have followed the rules of Level 3 over the past week,” he says... More>>


Earthquakes: Tsunami Activity – Cancelled

The National Advisory issued at 2:48pm following this morning's earthquakes near the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION is cancelled.
The advice from GNS Science, based on ocean observations, is that the Beach and Marine threat has now passed for all areas... More>>

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>


Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>

Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels