Every winter Sarah* and Mike make the choice between groceries, or clothes for their children.
Born 14 weeks early, Destiny has a weakened immune system and gets sick easily. Last winter, she missed a whole term of school due to sickness.
Poverty has been labelled the key driver for respiratory illnesses that are weighing on New Zealand’s economy to the tune of $6 billion each year, according to figures from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation.
But with a family of eight, the $500-odd they get from Work and Income and Mark’s part-time job as a teacher aide only goes so far, Sarah said.
David Farrar makes an obvious point: Maybe have fewer kids?
Maybe have fewer kids. I am all for a welfare system that allows a couple, no matter their income, to support say a couple of kids. But six kids? Surely there should be some personal responsibility about having more kids than you can afford.
That’s a fair point.
But the couple already have eight kids, and those kids didn’t chose to be in large family. The State has no choice but to help support them.
But perhaps the State could also do more to educate and encourage people to be sensible and responsible about how many babies they have before they become such a problem.