Greens ‘key to ending child poverty’

The Green Party continues their ‘change the government’ approach  in response to the Salvation Army’s 10th ‘state of the nation’ report.

The latest Salvation Army report reinforces the need for a new Government committed to action on the biggest issues facing New Zealand, the Green Party said today.

The 10th State of the Nation report from The Salvation Army, Off the Track, released today shows entrenched rates of child poverty, the highest prison muster ever, and an alarming lack of safe and affordable housing.

“The barriers that many New Zealanders are facing to living a happy life are not being addressed by this National Government,” Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said.

“Child poverty has become ‘normal’, prison numbers are up, and putting a roof over your family’s head is becoming harder and harder. This isn’t the New Zealand we know and love.

“The Green Party has the solutions to ending child poverty in New Zealand, by increasing incomes, ensuring secure housing, having school lunches available for the kids that need them and many other policy initiatives.

“The thousands of children growing up in poverty right now can’t wait any longer; their health and education is seriously impacted by inadequate standards of living, leading to huge downstream costs for us all.

“John Key said he wanted to address child poverty this Parliamentary term, but failed to. Now the challenge to Prime Minister Bill English is to do better by our kids.

“The progress of a country cannot be measured just by GDP growth; it has to be measured by living standards that enable people to reach their potential and participate in our society. At the moment, lots of us aren’t.

“National’s refusal to implement the solutions needed is leading to skyrocketing emergency financial support, with more and more New Zealanders struggling to keep food on the table. The sheer amount of last-ditch financial assistance that people are having to rely upon is scary, and exemplifies runaway inequality.

“Millions of New Zealanders care about the lives of children and know that we are all in this together. The Salvation Army State of the Nation report is evidence that New Zealand works better when it’s working for everyone,” Mrs Turei said.

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  1. PDB

     /  8th February 2017

    …and the ‘magic bullet’ the Greens are suggesting is? From their website;

    “The Green Party’s billion dollar plan to reduce child poverty includes:

    1. Creating a new top tax rate of 40 percent above $140,000, harmonise the trust tax rate with the top income tax rate, and introduce measures to make it harder for people to avoid paying their fair share of tax, generating close to $1 billion a year;

    Investing that revenue to fund:
    1. A new Children’s Credit that will give an extra $60 a week to families currently missing out, at a cost of $400 million a year;
    2. A non-discriminatory Parental Tax Credit of $220 a week in the first weeks of life for the poorest children, costing $29.4 million a year;
    3. A $500 million per year investment in children’s health and education to reduce the harm caused by poverty”.

    As always throwing taxpayer money at the issue (which is well overstated for political purposes in the first instance) and encouraging people that can’t afford to have kids to have even more of them. More of the same policy that has failed us for decades. The ‘1 billion’ a year extra they say they will gain is fanciful at best.

  2. PDB

     /  8th February 2017

    “The Green Party has the solutions to ending child poverty in New Zealand”

    The only way to ‘end child poverty’ under the child poverty measurements is for everybody in New Zealand to earn exactly the same amount of money per annum regardless of what job they do or even if they have a job at all.

    • David

       /  8th February 2017

      Or you can use the Cuban solution, just redefine the measure so there is no poverty and execute anyone who claims otherwise.

  3. Strong For Life

     /  8th February 2017

    Greens policies would have the reverse effect. Tax increases will decrease discretionary spending, inflation will soar and NZ would see an increase in both unemployment and child poverty.

  4. David

     /  8th February 2017

    “The Green Party has the solutions to ending child poverty in New Zealand, by increasing incomes, ensuring secure housing, having school lunches available for the kids that need them and many other policy initiatives.”

    Child poverty gets measured by a relative income indicator. By definition, it cannot be ‘ended’.
    Also, by using this measure, increasing incomes makes child poverty worse.

    • PDB

       /  8th February 2017

      There is a non-income material-hardship measure also captured by the child poverty monitor group but it is never mentioned as at 14% it is half the 28% the left like to promote in income poverty………note it gets only one sentence of mention in the report;

      • David

         /  8th February 2017

        Indeed. Child poverty is just a political weapon. All children are in poverty because we have laws that prevent them getting out there an earning a living wage.

        Child labour laws are ruining this country.

  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  8th February 2017

    If poverty is X% of the average wage, there will always be paupers. If the average person had 4 Porsches, lived in a house with an Olympic sized pool and had champagne every night, then the person who had 2 Porsches, had a house with an ordinary sized pool and drank champagne 3 times a week was a pauper.

  6. PDB

     /  8th February 2017

    “Here’s one such report:

    “A quarter of children in Britain are living in poverty, a controversial report by a United Nations agency claimed yesterday.

    Millions ‘have fallen prey to the dangers of austerity’ during the recession years, Unicef said.

    Britain was even ranked 25th on a child poverty league table of 41 developed countries – below Romania, Bulgaria and Chile.

    Given the vast gulf in general incomes between the UK and Romania and Bulgaria it is of course absurd to be insisting that there are more poor children in the former than the two latter. And of course that’s not actually what they’re claiming either. For they’re not measuring poverty, nor child poverty, at all. What they are measuring is inequality. For their definition of poverty in any one country is living below 60% of the median income (sometimes adjusted for housing costs and always adjusted for household size). So we can have (yes, even after accounting for the different expense of living in different places) two countries, one with three times the average income of the other, yet “poverty” is higher in the richer society than it is in the poorer one. Or at least it could be if the richer society were more unequal than the poorer one.

    Given that we’re simply not talking about poverty here, we’re talking about inequality. We can differ on whether inequality really is one of the defining problems of our time (I don’t agree, just for the record) but I do hope that we can all agree that this is a different problem than poverty. This especially important when we try to do cross country comparisons. When I look out my office window here in the Czech Republic I see a country where the average wage (median) is around £600 a month, the minimum wage is around £300 or so (a month). In my native UK the minimum is perhaps £1,050 and the median is more like £2,000. But if incomes are more unequally distributed in the UK (they are) than they are here in Bohemia then, despite near every child in the UK enjoying a higher income than almost all here, child poverty is described as higher in the UK

    “Which is nonsensical: we are measuring inequality and we’re measuring inequality quite well in the manner, but what we’re not measuring is poverty”.

  7. As pointed out upstream in the comments thread, material hardship is a better measure as its not based on the politics of envy like the % of median or average wage measures are.

    Why do the publications pushing the % of Income approach not highlighting this and actually informing the debate?

    Poverty and inequality are different things altogether but are being conflated to allow the political attack line of “its all rich pricks fault” and to justify increased taxes. Nice camouflage for the parties of the Lefts need for CONTROL over people.

    Why do I never see stats that divide the “poverty” cohort up in to the following categories, when things are put up for debate:

    1 – 2 child families with two parents
    2 – 2 child families with one parent
    3 – Same as 1 and 2 but 3 children
    4 – Same as 1 and 2 but with 4 or more children

    This will highlight a few things about choices in life – especially having more than 2 kids. When you are on a set income adding another mouth to feed by having another baby is not a particularly smart decision – and I shouldn’t have to pay for your bad decision making.

    You would think the Greens, in particular, would be very interested in the number of children per household in need – after all they imply, and some more extreme gaia worshippers insist, their are too may humans on the planet for a sustainable future.

    I expect this is the first of many “think of the children” meme and stories that will be pumped out between now and late September when we go to the polls.

    That Bryan Bruce character must be deep into filming and lining up post production for his latest, just before polling day, emotional documentary demanding something be done…

    • PDB

       /  8th February 2017

      Bruce is still frothing on his facebook page about Willy Jackson and also telling us that ‘Action Station’ is ‘non-partisan’ rather than the socialist vehicle it really is.

      • Action Station….. is that still going?

        • PDB

           /  8th February 2017

          Started up again just for election year…..

          • The McGuinness Institute and the New Zealand Initiative are both ‘non-partisan’ too! Go figure huh … ? Just how partisan can you be and still be non-partisan!? I reckon we’ll eventually discover that NZI all-but runs the country …

            Profiling is the favoured method, of course, and punishment the solution …

            Until pre-emptive sterilization and enforced abortion can be introduced …

            We taxpayers pay for all sorts of peoples’ bad decision making. The decision to drive drunk, to speed, to drink and inflict partner violence, to own attack dogs, to go tramping ill-prepared, not to wear a life-jacket … et al ad infinitum …

            Poverty measured only in material hardship is like Life measured only by one or two vital signs … You can have good heart rate and blood pressure and be very ill indeed …

            A comprehensive Well-Being Quotient is what’s required …


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