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


Good intentions won’t solve child neglect

The Prime Minister’s Child Poverty Reduction Bill – set to pass into law this week with the support of every party except ACT – will do nothing to solve child neglect, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Bill will measure how many children live in households with less than 40, 50, or 60 per cent of the median income, but will tell us very little about whether they are being fed, clothed, and housed.

“The legislation makes clear to future governments what has to be done to ‘solve’ child poverty – tax one group to bring their incomes down and give to another group to bring their incomes up. But that’s not a measure of child poverty. It's not even a measure of income.

“If income was all that was lacking to solve child poverty then GDP per capita quadrupling over the last 80 years, or governments spending tens of billions of dollars a year on welfare, would have solved it. Income doesn’t guarantee kids are looked after. In fact, taxpayer-funded income can make matters worse by eroding personal responsibility.

“ACT is proposing a radical change to the bill by taking the best part of it – the measurement of material hardship – and defining it clearly. It will require Statistics New Zealand to interview 200 children each year to find out whether they are receiving the basics and to report to Parliament with their findings. It would give a real picture of how real children are living.

“Governments would then need to fix the underlying causes of child neglect – the housing crisis, and our education and welfare systems.

“At the heart of this debate is personal responsibility. The Prime Minister’s initiative – which the National Party has signed up to – represents a belief that the world gets better by more taxing and transferring.

“Politicians have an obligation to give New Zealanders a better tomorrow through better public policy. We had the opportunity to measure real child neglect, but instead the Prime Minister has tabled legislation which concludes that we should do more of what's already failed.

“If we could make New Zealand a better place simply by having good intentions, the current government would have solved all of our problems.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What We Could Do For Hong Kong, If Only We Dared

There has been something repulsive about PM Jacinda Ardern’s assurances that our joint 5 Eyes criticism of China’s actions over Hong Kong – and China’s harsh reaction – are all well understood on both sides. According to Ardern, it has been a case of us saying the sort of things we’ve said before, them acknowledging our need to do so, and then them responding much as we would expect them to do. All neat and tidy. Frankly, if all of this is merely virtue signalling on our part, and huffy declarations of independence on their part, then what’s the point of this diplomatic dance..? More>>


Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>


Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>


National: Leader’s Speech At Annual General Meeting

Good morning delegates. It’s an absolute privilege to be speaking as your leader. I’d like to acknowledge the party president, regional chairs, board members, National Party staff, our MPs, our candidates, and most importantly, you – the delegates, ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>


Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>


APEC: New Zealand Ready To Host Virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels