Greens tackle child poverty

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, August 4th, 2011 - 23 comments
Categories: class war, poverty - Tags:

The Greens have launched their policy to get 100,000 kids out of poverty. It’ll cost just 0.3% of GDP. We have a moral duty to do what we can to eliminate child poverty. Labour made a start. WFF basically ended working poverty. But there’s the kids of beneficiaries. 270,000 kids below the poverty line while the elite live in mansions. Not good enough.

The Greens policies are mostly rehashes. But the oldies are often goodies. Extending WFF to beneficiaries is the big hit. One move that would get tens of thousands of kids out of the poverty trap. For $300m. The kind of money that is lavished on the rich without a second thought.

Naturally, Key has ruled it out immediately. Also ruled out raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Could be forgiven for thinking Key’s happy to talk about helping the underclass but won’t act.

Greens would restore the Training Incentive Allowance. Good stuff. Help DPB mums upskill and get back into the workforce when the kids are old enough.

They also want to set minimum insulation standards for rental properties. This is a great one. The state of rentals, especially for the poor, is shocking. Landlords are required to provide bugger-all. Not all landlords are bad of course. But why should the law permit slum landlords to operate?

Good on the Greens.

We’ve yet to see the details of Labour’s Children’s Agenda. Both parties want the $15 minimum wage and TIA back though. Together it’s shaping up to be an exciting programme of action from the big Left parties.

It’s time to eliminate child poverty. Only way to start doing that is vote out Key.

23 comments on “Greens tackle child poverty”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    That’s rich. Someone telling the public what is a moral duty when they have none themselves. Why is it we have a moral duty to help, as long as we shut the hell up if we don’t like the methods pre-ordained for greatness by the career-and-funding orientated quangos?

    All i see from the greens is a bunch of things that will never happen as they plan it to, when it all goes wrong at a social level (like social welfare) it will be someone elses fault. By then it will be to late of course.

    • Blighty 1.1

      cutting through all your bluster: Do you agree that we, as a wealthy society and quite apart from the economic and social arguments, have a moral duty to make sure none of our children live in poverty?

    • Lyall 1.2

      Its very easy for the Greens to promise anything, because they will never be the Government or ever invited into coalition or into a Ministerial post. And they know it, so they’ll never be ‘called’ on their promises.

      • AAMC 1.2.1

        I wonder if they once said that of the Greens in Germany?

        • Shane Gallagher

          They did. Now it looks like the next Chancellor of Germany could be a Green. Green parties all over the world are surging in support, even under near impossible electoral systems like FPP.

          The older parties are the politics of the 19th (National) and 20th (Labour) centuries. Green is the politics of the 21st century. Before Labour parties all over the world got into government the establishments and their lapdogs said that the world would end if the working classes got their hands on the levers of power….

    • mik e 1.3

      If we don’t Fix Poverty at the top of the cliff its going to get a lot more expensive to fix at the bottom of the cliff, seems to be the way with many of Nationals laissez fair approach. Leaky homes Nationals contribution for their mistake only $1 billion for a $32billion problem.Now National is withdrawing75% of the funding from play centers .THEIR POLICIES are short term save a dollar now the VOTERS pick the tab after nationals HUGE mistakes LATER.Sir Peter Gluckman Keys chief science advisor has said we need to fix this problem permanently and now we had Lord Robert Winston areal Lord not card board cut out one like the climate clown. on Cris Laidlaws show, saying we should get on with it . Neglect is abuse if we don’t help these children achieve in their life we will be wasting a huge resource.And one for the bean brain bean counters who can only think logically and not emotionally as well is cold hearted and abusive just like a cold hearted parent. We the rest of society can not afford for these kids to fail.with poor incomes, poor health.poor savings and all the other down sides the ongoing cost is going to be a permanent drag on the economy. The opposite will happen we will have made an investment in a more wealthy and healthy Society.Thats how we can get back to the top of the OECD by dealing to poverty and NOW1

    • mik e 1.4

      If we can get these kids of to a good start they won;t need welfare when they grow up. They will be paying tax instead your remedy would have them in jail or on minimum wage jobs . the solution is get them into high paid jobs by a good start in life ie Canterbury Universities social science dept has been running a program to get families out of poverty they have a 70% success rate.For our country to have this level of poverty is the land of milk and honey.Any one that defends not doing anything about it is in my books contributing to child neglect !Its like you know someone next door and not doing any thing about it ,we as a nation have to stop poverty. Just because you don’t see it children are hungry large amounts of the time,living in cold overcrowded , unsanitary, violent No father figures no achievement examples and we expect these children to grow up normal and achieve in their life time ,We are just as culpable for not doing anything about it!

  2. Extending WFF to beneficiaries is the big hit. One move that would get tens of thousands of kids out of the poverty trap. For $300m.

    It could be a bigger hit than they claim. They need to explain their arithmetic.

    140,000 beneficiaries x $60 x 52 weks = $436.8m

    • Blighty 2.1

      do all beneficiaries have a child?

      In fact, where does your 140,000 figure come from?


        To implement our solutions to bring 100,000 children out of poverty would cost approximately $360 million per year for the next three years.

        We’d extend Working for Families to provide an extra $60 per week for 140,000 of the poorest households in New Zealand.

        To qualify for WFF presumably they would have to have children – although they wouldn’t need to be working.

        • Lanthanide

          Another problem with their numbers is that they don’t make sense.

          If we’re trying to bring 100,000 children out of poverty, why are we going to pay extra money to 140,000 households? Simply using those numbers, the average number of children per household is 10/14 = 0.71 children per house.

          • Pete George

            They also say “275,000 people work for minimum wage, and many of them take care of dependent children. ”

            And “One quarter of all New Zealand children are growing up in poverty. That’s about 270,000 kids.”

            And “This is our plan to bring 100,000 children out of poverty by 2014. ”

            This suggests that they are choosing hand out enough for only about 1/3 of children in poverty, or they are aware that just dishing out more money is nowhere near answer.

            Poverty is more of a symptom of problems in our society and in many families rather than the cause.

        • Deadly_NZ

          And from the 100,000 children, how many are in multiple families??? Also how can you have 100,000 children in 140,000 house holds?? More like 100,000 children in say 65-70 thousand houses, Now do your sums. As you get X for 1 child you get (for 2 you get something like Xx1.6%) and it drops incrementally the more children you have. And it also changes with the age of the children. I.E.: I get double for my 16 year old step daughter, than I do for my 3 month old son. It’s just the dynamics of the needs of the child at the time. I.E. My son don’t want/need new jeans , phones , hair dye. I rest My Case.

    • toad 2.2

      If you read the detailed paper, rather than just the summary, you will see that the $300 million cost of extending the IWTC is net after savings in supplementary welfare expenditure (that would be Special Needs Grants and Temporary Additional Support) and increased GST revenue (because beneficiaries spend everything they receive).
      Your $436 million figure is before those offsets, Pete.

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    Economic policies implemented over the past 40 years have been geared to creating poverty, and they have succeeded. Youngsters may have cellphones (for the moment) but they have little hope of getting out of the mess created by those who have been in power.

    In the 70s milk was 4 cents a litre (with a 4 cent deposit on the bottle), there was close to full employment, a large proportion of the goods sold in NZ were made in NZ, and luxury goods were heavily taxed.

    Successive governments have demolished the relatively stable economic and social arrangements that prevailed for decades and replaced them with totally unsustainable arrangements which are now falling over (it is just that other nations are a little further down the path of collapse than NZ).

    Child poverty will increase substantially until the present political-economic system collapses completely under the weight of corruption and ineptitude.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “Child poverty will increase substantially until the present political-economic system collapses completely under the weight of corruption and ineptitude.”

      One has to assume then, that whatever comes next will be better than the present system?

      There’ll be pain in the short to medium term. But in the long term we should end up better off.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The Greens have launched their policy to get 100,000 kids out of poverty.

    Universal Income. Everyone out of poverty immediately. 50% flat tax for all income (yes, that includes businesses) paid weekly (dump Provisional Tax) through an online tax system. Adjustment of other taxes as needed to suit.

    If people are talking about getting rid of poverty and aren’t talking about a Universal Income then they aren’t serious.

    They also want to set minimum insulation standards for rental properties.

    All houses need a minimum insulation standard and not just rentals.

  5. “Extend” an income tax credit called “Working For Families” to beneficiaries? Well, if you ignore the fact it would no longer be an income tax credit scheme and no longer about working I guess, but it seems more accurate to call it “increasing the benefit” rather than “extending WFF to beneficiaries.”

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Yeah, I don’t know who the Greens are trying to kid with this.

      Evidently they didn’t want to come out and say “increase the benefit” or “introduce new child benefit”, but that’s what it amounts to and it’ll only take people a couple of seconds to see through their suggestion for what it really is. That will ultimately hurt them more than if they just came out and said it, I think – people will feel like the Greens are treating them like morons, or that the Greens themselves are morons.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    The Greens are slowly becoming an incrementalist party of the upper middle class with a conscience.

    • AAMC 6.1

      Who have said they would consider working with National. I appreciate this is highly unlikely, but, saying it is enough to make me question them as an option.

  7. How would The Greens get landlords to upgrade rental properties without resulting in a rise rents?

  8. Descendant Of Smith 8

    All this mucking around with WFF.

    Just bring back Universal Family Benefit with no income test, no bureaucracy, simple paperwork, treat all fairly and raise tax at the top rates to pay for the extra cost over and above WFF.

    Increase benefit rates at the same time by $20-00 per week plus raise the minimum wage.

    Keep it simple and stop over complicating things.

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