It was left up to Radio New Zealand to provide the best coverage of yet another shaming report on child poverty in NZ:
One in five children in severe hardship – report
A report on child poverty says at least one in five children experience severe hardship that compromises their health, education and future.
The report, by the Child Poverty Action Group, says the Government needs to make urgent policy changes to help 200,000 children who are living in poverty.
It makes seven key recommendations, including removing the work-based rules for child financial assistance and creating a Minister for Children. …
The Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, has declined to comment, saying she has not had time to read the report.
One in five children. By a stunning coincidence that is the same proportion that the Nats would have you believe are failing in the education system. I wonder if perchance these two observations are connected? No doubt national standards will fix it. Hah hah. Meanwhile, coverage in The Herald stressed the gap with Oz:
‘Tasman gap’ getting bigger, group warns
Low-income families with children will be able to almost double their weekly tax credits if they move to Australia by 2018, an analysis has found.
In a pre-election “state of our children” report, the Child Poverty Action Group says this year’s Budget cuts in Working for Families tax credits will create a dire “Tasman gap” between family support in the two countries by 2018 when they will be fully phased in.
Auckland University economist Susan St John said the cuts were subtle and would take effect slowly until 2018. “They don’t appear to hurt much, but over the time the differences between us and Australia will become ever starker,” she said. …
Dr St John said the widening gap was not simply because Australia was richer. “Obviously they are more generous because they are richer, but the design of the policy reflects a different value structure,” she said.
Labour has promised to put children at the centre of social policy. If the election doesn’t return a Labour government, then we’re going to have three more years of inaction punctuated by brief ritual hand-wringing over each new report. But the media interest never lasts long. Perhaps if they want to raise their profile, poor kids everywhere need to head down to their local beach and start eating wet sand. That seems to be the way to get some real attention in this country. Yes I’m joking. I think.