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


Band-aids won't do it for the 2016 Budget

Band-aids won't do it for the 2016 Budget

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) says for too long scraps have been thrown at the festering sore of child poverty in New Zealand. The 2016 budget must not further disappoint.

Changes to benefits and Working for Families (WFF), introduced on April 1 this year merely scratched the surface of the desperate need.

CPAG economics spokesperson, Associate Professor Susan St John says, "The 2016 budget must do more than tinker with the issue."Generous and inclusive weekly child payments to the caregiver are required. The 2015 budget made much of the $12.50 per week increase to WFF, but this represented nothing more than an overdue inflation catch-up to the iniquitous In-Work Tax Credit (IWTC). Unfortunately low income families that do not qualify for this child-related measure have had nothing extra from WFF.

"Much bolder and comprehensive actions are required to fix the many failures and anomalies of Working for Families," says St John.

CPAG health spokesperson Professor Innes Asher says, "Affordable, healthy housing is a critical issue, but low-income families must also have enough money to provide the basic necessities for their children. Anne Tolley admitted that 230,000 - around one in five - children in New Zealand are ‘vulnerable’. They miss out on many of their basic needs: a good bed, fresh fruit and vegetables, warm clothing. They become sick and stressed. Many are permanently harmed by inadequate resources. These children are prevented from fulfilling their potential and in consequence our society is affected too.

"We know increasing numbers of New Zealanders are concerned about child poverty and the growing inequality between the 'haves' and 'have-nots', and rank this as the number one issue for our nation.

"People also know that the Government could lift children out of poverty by improving housing and raising incomes for families on income support benefits and in low-paid work. Evidence shows that parents would spend the extra money on their children, and that it would improve societal outcomes. It is absolutely crucial that the Government prioritises family incomes in the 2016 budget."

The Government’s 2016 budget must include a strategic approach for the urgent development of hundreds of new houses intended for low-income families. With more than 2000 households on the Ministry of Social Development’s "Priority A" waiting list for social housing, this will be just the beginning of what is needed to eliminate the current housing crisis. The $41 million promised to assist with emergency beds is merely a Band-aid, and real solutions needs to be prioritised.

CPAG agrees that Housing New Zealand should be allowed to be exempt from taxes, freeing up around $207 million in the next financial year to fund a plan for around 500 new state houses.

CPAG Housing and Law spokesperson Frank Hogan says, "It is crazy that the state owned social housing agency pays tax when private investors use rental housing investment to avoid tax."

Child Poverty Action Group will present its analysis of what the budget holds for children and families at Post-Budget Breakfast events held in six centres throughout New Zealand on May 27 and in Nelson on June 1.

The analysis will be prepared by specialists from a range of disciplines, including education, health, economics, social services and housing. CPAG joins with families nationwide in hoping the Government delivers for children in this budget.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Problems The Pandemic Is Causing For Big Oil

Chances are, climate change won’t kill you overnight, and that’s got to be significant. Yet while we were all in lockdown listening to the birdsong, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that if governments can up-end the economy for an unexpected reason – the coronavirus – surely, we can act just as decisively to counter the known threat that climate changes poses to planetary survival.
Currently, those twin threats from Covid-19 and climate change are converging: on the extent of oil production... More>>


E-Cigarettes: Vaping Legislation Passes

Landmark legislation passed today puts New Zealand on track to saving thousands of lives and having a smokefree generation sooner rather than later, Associate Health Minister, Jenny Salesa says. The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) ... More>>


Housing: Government Delivers On Rental Reforms Promise

The Government has delivered on its promise to New Zealanders to modernise tenancy laws with the passing of the Residential Tenancies Amendment (RTA) Bill 2020 today, says Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing), Kris Faafoi. “The Residential ... More>>


National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>


Office Of The Speaker: Parliament Is Revamping Its Rules

Today, the Standing Orders Committee’s report on the review of Standing Orders was presented to the House. The Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, chairs the committee. He said today that the 2020 review will make our rules more ... More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>


Energy: 100% Renewable Electricity Grid Explored With Pumped Storage ‘battery’

The Government is taking a significant step toward its goal for 100% renewable electricity generation in a move that could be a game changer for consumers and the creation of a low-emissions economy, Energy & Resources Minister Megan Woods said. ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels