National Attacks Vulnerable Children

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, December 14th, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: class war, crime, education, employment, health, national, poverty, welfare - Tags:

National are consistently attacking the vulnerable in society – those who cannot fight back and complain. This is where a lot of their cuts are aimed at – those who need it most. Be it in health, education or welfare.

And in several recent health and education National cuts have hurt the most vulnerable – our children.  Not just the massive Early Childhood Education cuts of Tolley, which affect the futures of all our children, but cuts hurting those at the bottom even more.

This government’s policies that are seeing us head back into recession, maintaining high unemployment, and cutting the value of the working poor’s incomes are seeing 2000 more children admitted to hospital last year compared to 2007 – with the bulk of those extra patients being from low-income families.

[Assoc Prof Cindy Kiro] said there was “a range of worrying trends”, particularly for children under four years old, Maori and Pacifika children and children of sole parents and beneficiaries.

“Sixty per cent of those below the poverty line are children. That’s the really important point, people don’t understand that,” Ms Kiro said.

Children are paying with their health for this government’s policies.

They’re also paying with their education, as those with specialist needs miss out.

Kids Farm in John Key’s own Helensville is being closed, with the 13 troubled youths it was working successfully with being transferred to Kaipara College – who get funding for 5 of them.  That’s 13 young men who’ll end up back in crime and anti-social behaviour, making life worse for everybody, because Kaipara College won’t have the resources to deal with them.  Former police officer Grant Gray, who along with his wife has given his last 10 years turning many kids lives around at Kids Farm, says:

“What happens to these youth that don’t fit into mainstream? When you create an underclass of unemployed and unskilled people then crime rates go up.”

Young women are missing out too.  In Christchurch student mums are being cut from the school roll.  Have a baby, lose your education and your future is the punishment set up by warped morals of National.  So that we can support and complain about these women on the DPB for the rest of their lives, as we cut every opportunity for them to get off it, no matter how they try.  Just like Paula Bennett cutting the Training Incentive Allowance she used.

Those are recent examples, but it’s not a recent phenomenon – it’s easy to bring up examples like the shutting of the Te Hurihanga residential youth offender facility that was so effective at diverting our young from crime.  The pilot was expensive, but pilots are.  When you roll things out on a larger-scale the costs are much more reasonable – and a whole lot less than having those young men committing crimes and being incarcerated for a large section of their lives.

It all adds up to a National prescription.  Screw the poor, give them no ladders to climb, and spend the money saved (in the short term, before we have to pay for the prisons and benefits) on your rich mates.

That’s “ambitious for New Zealand”.

21 comments on “National Attacks Vulnerable Children”

  1. Swampy 1

    Economic recession is a fact. It is not something National invented.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Giving more money to the rich during an economic recession is also a fact. As is letting large populations of our children grow up in relative (or actual) poverty while threatening to cut benefits to their parents even further. Youth unemployment in parts of the country sit at 20%, 25% and 30%.

      Where is Bill English’s aggressive recovery Swampy?

      • infused 1.1.1

        Youth Unemployment is Labours doing.

        • Bunji

          How so? it’s under National’s watch it’s more than doubled… [EDIT: sorry, tripled from 22,000 to 65,000]

          Getting modern apprenticeships and the like going are a great help with youth unemployment. I don’t see anything National’s doing helping. Throwing kids out of school because they’re difficult or have children certainly won’t help.

          • infused

            By scrapping youth rates.

            • Bunji

              Why should young people be paid less?

              Because young people aren’t worth as much? Because youth rates had solved the youth unemployment problem previously? Because young people only deserve subsistence wages?

              Should we also lower the minimum wage for Maori because they have a higher unemployment rate?

            • KJT

              Youth rates do not make more jobs. They just shift unemployment to a slightly higher age group.
              Less wages and benefits at the lower end are recessionary. For the reason which should be obvious to all. The lower paid spend locally. Doesn’t anyone remember all the small business failures during Ruthanasia.

    • Bunji 1.2

      It’s also something they’ve perpetuated with their policies. An aggressive stimulus would have had us “roaring out of recession” like John Key promised, not slipping into a double-dip, like he delivered.

    • jbanks 1.3

      Do you expect anything better from this site?

      BCom > BA for understanding economics.

      OMG!?! National caused the recession and Labour would have us out of it by now!!!

      • lprent 1.3.1

        MBA > BCom?

        Basically you’re using a bloody silly argument. Most of the professional economists I’ve run across don’t have a BCom. They usually started with a BA and fell into economics that way. At a bachelors level, it isn’t the degree that matters, it is what you do with it subsequently that matters.

        BTW: I don’t have a lot of respect for most management degrees (despite having a MBA myself). I’ve worked extensively with those courses or equivalent degrees world wide through some of the management sims I’ve helped write. Many of them are pretty strictly bums on seats and enough understanding to pass the course. They are definitely not up to scratch compared to my BSc, or the BEng of many of the people I work with, or for that matter with the depth of some of the 3rd year BA papers I’ve done.

        • Colonial Viper

          Need I remind all that professional economists are generally, not always, but generally USELESS at predicting anything important. Most economics departments in universities need to be closed down and revamped from the ground up.

          Financial economics is a field akin to fortune telling by crystal ball.

          For light entertainment only.

          • lprent

            Oh I’d agree that economics is pretty useless at predictions (and not bad at 20:20 hindsight).

            However regardless how bad economists are at actually predicting actual future events, they are reasonably good at predicting the constraints on courses of actions. That is what they are useful for.

            You do not ever want to follow their advice because more often then not it is more akin to various religions than any form of human rationality. This is largely due to their rather extreme myopia on possible desired outcomes that is demanded by their need to minimize the complexity of possible outcomes down to something that can be modeled. However you need to read their advice to look at possible/probable detrimental outcomes when looking at potential courses of action. They are known as the “dismal science” for a reason and that is because they are good at seeing possible problems. They’re just useless at seeing possible realistic solutions.

            If anyone had ever used them for deciding what things to do in the future in our past then we’d still be hunter-gatherers.

  2. Hilary 2

    One of the really good alternative education providers in Wellington, Challenge 2000, has been forced to close through lack of funding. What will happen to those young people?

  3. Deadly_NZ 3

    Who the HELL is this Infused person????

    teflon john
    or Blinglish in disguise???

    yes youth EMPLOYMENT increased under labour.

    But ALL employment DISAPPEARED under the NATS..

    Personally i find that a youth with a few bucks in his /her pocket are a lot happier and not out TAGGING and BURNING schools it also gives them a bit of self esteem.

    But there again I am just an ordinary person who has been screwed by the tax increases ooppss sorry cuts

    SO infused unless you have something of substance to say I would diffidently tell you to shut up and go tell johnny and bill that the general population is NOT buying thier BULLSHIT

    Rant over

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Meh some kind of preliminary mathematised correlation model is “pretty black and white”. Really?

        The guys work is great as far as it goes, which is no where near real life, so why would you suggest using this mathematised model to make any real decisions from?

        Mathematised economic models are, as a general rule, a load of bollocks. Like fortune telling with a crystal ball. Good for light entertaiment value only.

        Does this model predict what would happen if we do as you suggest and remove youth minimum wage rates? How would we replicate a situation to actually prove this? Doesn’t the fact that his model doesn’t work in more recent years (residuals higher) mean that any number of factors in addition to the min wage but not yet identified may be in play?

        Infused promotes a ridiculous one dimensional view of youth unemployment.

        Mate if there is no productive work out there to be done there will be no jobs for young people no matter how shit you want to pay them.

        BTW the minimum wage needs to go to $15/hr ASAP and the median income needs to go to $30K ASAP.

        200,000 jobs paying $20-25/hr are required by Monday.

        Our highly paid business and political leaders better sort things out and ensure we have the diverse high value added economy neeed to be able to pay those rates.

        I like Jeremy’s idea of moving towards full employment. To my mind anything over 2% unemployment is dangerous and anything over 3% is catastrophic for our society.

        Structured value added work and other activities (paid and unpaid) allowing people to particpate fully in society is crucial for their wellbeing.

      • KJT 3.1.2

        Now explain why in the real world it did not happen like that.

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