How much money should be put towards child poverty in the upcoming Budget?

Paul Henry talks with Professor Innes Asher (Child Poverty Action Group spokesperson) on the upcoming budget and how much money should be allocated towards child poverty in New Zealand. A RadioLIVE interview.

3 replies on “How much money should be put towards child poverty in the upcoming Budget?”

Professor Innes Asher is so right. Child poverty will not be cured by thinking it is only about concentrating ‘social services’ on a small subset of highly vulnerable children in dysfunctional families. Worryingly Bill English talks about ‘1.05% of NZ Children in complex families’. He misses the big picture of wide family hardship and distress under his watch. CPAG says fundamental change to Working for Families is required to improve the lives of our children. Including all low income children in all tax funded payments to alleviate child poverty is a first obvious, even if expensive step. CPAG asks the government to be bold.

Thanks Susan – CPAG has consistently raised this important issue. Agree, the lack of equal levels of tax credits paid to beneficiary parents as to those employed for money, the quiet lowering of the amount of household income you can earn before abatement of tax credits begins, and the increase in the rate of abatement when it does, all highlight fundamental discrepancies between the government’s espoused action on poverty and what they are actually doing. Targetted social services are not the same as poverty alleviation, and leaves social workers employed in those services with the terrible job of picking up the pieces caused at least in part by substantial factors beyond either their control or the control of the families they work with.

If the Government is serious about tackling child poverty then all children must be at the heart of policy. So far we have seen nothing that will fundamentally shift the rising inequality and levels of hardship. In fact, the Government seems unwilling to address some of the areas that we know will result in substantial and meaningful changes to our society- these include changes to WFF and the In Work Tax Credit. Yes, both require a financial investment, but this would be a significant step towards ensuring that all children have a chance at a healthy future. Anything less is shocking discrimination against those that will be the future of the New Zealand. Let’s see poverty alleviation taken seriously. Such positive action from this Government would far outweigh the pride they’d get from securing the FIFA World Cup, or some other sporting event…. wouldn’t it?!

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