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


CPAG joins call for Govt to increase benefits urgently

CPAG joins call from budget advisors for Govt to increase benefits urgently

Budgeting services cannot help people who do not have enough income to meet even their basic needs, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

As New Zealanders, we all agree that children should be able to live good lives, and have all the support they need to thrive. But families suffering hardship in our country are being forced to navigate difficult and stressful processes to access supplementary assistance for basic needs such as food. Obtaining advance benefit payments and recoverable grants creates debt to Work and Income, with repayments meaning less income than before, reinforcing hardship in a vicious cycle of hopelessness.

CPAG joins the call from MoneyTalks financial mentor Adrienne Gallie for the Government to urgently respond to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendation to increase benefits.

"Work and Income are referring many people, who apply for supplementary assistance, back to agencies for budgeting assistance and mentoring. But those at the coalface of these services are very clear that it is lack of income, not lack of ability to budget that is causing the hardship," says Associate Professor Susan St John, CPAG’s Economics Advisor.

"It is a destructive, frustrating, time-consuming and unacceptable situation. Poverty in New Zealand is a national crisis, with deprivation affecting children with devastating long-term costs to them and to society. Our paediatricians are seeing abnormally high rates of poverty-related diseases and children with multiple learning issues. This is not a country that is the best place in the world for bringing up children."

CPAG was hopeful that 2019 would have been the year of change, and that poverty would not be, once again, a major election issue.

"We urge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has made reducing child poverty a major aim of her Government, to make the bold changes children desperately need," says St John.

CPAG says the Government has a responsibility to counter the negative and uninformed narrative about people on benefits and to show true leadership in this responsibility.

CPAG calls on the Government to immediately lift benefits, significantly reduce the reliance on supplementary means-tested payments, and improve the returns to part-time work on the benefit.

Furthermore, CPAG urges the Government to give all low-income families access to the full Working for Families package for the care of their children. This would cost around $0.5billion per annum and immediately make families on benefits at least $72.50 a week better off.

"There is absolutely no justification for policy that excludes the worst-off families from a tax credit that has reducing child poverty as its key aim," says St John.

"It is not good enough to wait for Budget 2020 decisions that will take another full year to come into effect, and only if the Government is re-elected.

"Action is needed right now."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Chilling The Warm Fuzzies About The US/China Trade Deal

Hold the champagne, folks. This week’s China/US deal is more about a change in tone between the world’s two biggest economies – thank goodness they’re not slapping more tariffs on each other! - than a landmark change in substance. The high walls of US and Chinese tariffs built in recent years will largely remain intact, and few economists are predicting the deal will significantly boost the growth prospects for a slowing US economy. As the New York Times noted this morning, the likes of New Zealand will still face the trade barriers imposed by the Trump administration during the recent rounds of fighting. More>>


PGF Kaikōura $10.88M: Boost In Tourism & Business

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. More>>


Whitebaiting: Govt Plans To Protect Announced

With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. More>>


Education: Resource For Schools On Climate Change

New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change... More>>


In Effect April: New Regulations For Local Medicinal Cannabis

Minister of Health Dr David Clark says new regulations will allow local cultivation and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products that will potentially help ease the pain of thousands of people. More>>


RNZ: New Year Honours: Sporting Greats Among Knights And Dames

Six new knights and dames, including Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua and economist Professor Dame Marilyn Waring, have been created in today's New Year's Honours List. The list of 180 recipients - 91 women and 89 men - leans heavily on awards for community service, arts and the media, health and sport.


Gordon Campbell: On What An Inquiry Might Look Like

Presumably, if there is to be a ministerial inquiry (at the very least) into the Whakaari/White Island disaster, it will need to be a joint ministerial inquiry. That’s because the relevant areas of responsibility seem to be so deeply interwoven... More>>






InfoPages News Channels