The Children’s Commissioner’s expert group (a large bunch of Professors and Doctors + Business NZ’s Phil O’Reilly) has recommended that things must be done about Child Poverty, and wondered why we accept 25% poverty among our children when we won’t accept Pensioner Poverty. They went on to make very specific suggestions as to what should be done, including a universal child payment for under 6s.
John Key’s response to the indepth analysis of a bunch of our finest minds and Phil O’Reilly?
Because Key and National know they’re right, and don’t need things like evidence or expert views.
Just like they knew that we’d bounce back vigorously from recession, and that tax cuts for the rich would be fiscally neutral.
When children are small costs are tight. Ideally (but all too rarely) one partner can afford to be home, reducing income significantly just as costs rise massively. Most people when they’re having children are not at the high-point income-wise of their careers. Very few couldn’t do with some help towards those costs, particularly if it means more time bonding with children, and making better future citizens. A universal payment is not ‘dopey’.
Instead we have both parents out working double shifts.
Between this report and last week’s one from Every Child Counts showing how the Netherlands effectively combat child poverty without breaking the bank, there are lots of ideas for the government, if they wouldn’t just dismiss them out of hand.
Just because the experts recommendations include some Labour & Green policies doesn’t mean the experts are wrong – it just shows that the opposition is listening.
Instead the govenrment decided to roll out CRAP (Child Results Action Plan). I say roll out, but it was mainly re-announcements of previous policies, because they’ve listened so hard… And because they like their long lists of reannouncements.
And now we face poverty increasing: specifically for Solid Energy workers with hundreds facing the sack, but generally as a large price increase for food over the next year bites the poorest the hardest.
What will be the government’s response? Probably more CRAP and calling real solutions ‘dopey’ if past performance is anything to go by.
[I recommend Danyl's latest work of satire on the topic at The Dim-Post]