NRT: Will Key act on child poverty?

Written By: - Date published: 6:38 pm, September 24th, 2014 - 16 comments
Categories: Left, poverty - Tags: ,

no-right-turn-256Reposted from No Right Turn

While the left lost the election, it looks like we’ve won another battle in the war of ideas, with John Key being forced to at least pretend he wants to do something about child poverty:

Prime Minister John Key has asked his officials for fresh ideas on tackling child poverty.

On his first day back at Parliament since being re-elected on Saturday, Key said he had ordered Treasury and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officials to start presenting new ideas.


Key said it needed to be done without narrowing the gap between the incomes of those on benefits and those working, to ensure people were still encouraged into work.

Breakfasts in schools, free doctors’ visits for young children and tax credits for low and middle income families were examples of policies that could be used to tackle the problem, as could programmes such as Whanau Ora.

These aren’t new ideas; they’re ideas recommended by the Children’s Commissioner, and to which the government went “yeah, nah”. If they’re revisiting that rejection, that’s great, and I look forward to seeing some action. OTOH, Key could just be spinning the wheels, trying to give the illusion of action while in fact doing nothing, as they’ve done with so much else. Which is why we need to keep up the pressure. Child poverty is an obscenity in a rich society like ours, and its entirely a matter of government choice. We need to make them choose to solve it, rather than ignore it.

16 comments on “NRT: Will Key act on child poverty?”

  1. Marksman33 1

    I wait with bated breath.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Child poverty is an obscenity in a rich society like ours, and its entirely a matter of government choice.

    Any poverty in any society is an obscenity. That is a reality that needs to driven home to all of our political parties.

    • the childless-poor are the new ‘invisible-people’..

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        I think you’ll find that childless people have always been invisible but they’re certainly becoming more so.

      • Chris 2.1.2

        The childless unemployed. The Labour Party has traditionally been the party for the workers. It still says it’s the party for the workers except the current Labour Party restricts who it thinks the workers are to only the employed. Workers used to refer to the pool of labour not just those lucky enough to have a job. By deciding to look after the employed poor Labour’s helped create an underclass represented by nobody.

    • AmaKiwi 2.2

      @Draco: “Any poverty in any society is an obscenity. That is a reality that needs to driven home to all of our political parties.”

      I have seen the outrage of working people (many are working class) who blame their heavy tax burden on the poor for being “too lazy to work” and “not doing their share.”

      That myth is central to National’s successful message that Labour is the party of “tax and spend,” “5 more new taxes,” etc.

      How do we smash that myth?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Keep pointing out that the poor are working harder than anyone else and going backwards. Point to the fact that when the economy was doing well we had record unemployment proving that those people actually want to work but are being prevented by the politicians and business people at the top.

        Long, hard work with lots of repetition but that’s about all we’ve got – that and the truth.

  3. Heather 3

    I remember attending a summit in the Palmerston North library a couple of years ago where Johnathon Bosten spoke, he then went on to prepare and present an excellent report on child poverty – it was rubbished by Bennett and Key.
    The Children’s Commissioner and Nigel Latter have both provided excellent information and solutions to the poverty problem, again this was rubbished by Bennett who said ‘there is no poverty’.
    The failure to acknowledge children in poverty is an appalling situation which has continued for too long.
    I wait in hope that something may be finally done but I don’t hold my breath.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Nothing will be done. Our entire financial system is designed to increase poverty so that profits can increase.

    • Chris 3.2

      Key since the election has been trying to be extremely nice. “We will not be arrogant”. “We will look at child poverty”. “There will be no lurching to the right”. He’s even got a new facial expression to go with the new mood. But it’s because he knows there’s trouble brewing. He’s started efforts to remove himself from the muck and avoid the fallout he knows is on its way.

  4. Scottie 4

    Im sick of the winging about National. They are what they are and they won the election decisively. Now let’s forget about them. I want to read about how we are going to create jobs, increase the working persons wages so we can all share in the benefits of this country. Stay positive, the labour movement has a lot of work to do in the next three years.

    • word 4.1

      If you had wanted that, you should have voted labour then. I think you will be waiting a long time to read anything positive about real job creation and a meaningful increase of worker wages under national. Its only the well off who will share the benefits of this country, and it will be amongst themselves.

  5. Dont worry. Be happy 5

    Key will act on child poverty the same way he made sure Solid Energy went up the drift at Pike and the wreck of the Rena was removed. The leopard does not change his spots. Once a liar, always a liar.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1


      Key’s been lying to us since day 1 and yet people actually seem to expect something else.

  6. Skinny 6

    I will give Key credit for this stance whether he can actually implement any 
    meaningful chances to poverty we will see.

    Took the opportunity of an invite to go hear him address his blue ribbon & business set. It was insightful as his speech was mainly about the importance of taking Maori on his journey. The party faithful sat their politely tolerating such speak, however the greedy business group yawned and he was losing their attention. What surprised me was Key looked about in disgust as if to say “You ignorant fools couldn’t give two fucks about the depravation for Maori in this Region”.

    Guess what I realised then and there was lucky it’s Key running this National outfit and not some hardline right-winger. 

  7. emergency mike 7

    If past performance is anything to go by, Key suddenly getting interested in closing the gap minutes after winning the election indicates that the bottom rung is about to get shafted and told that it’s good for them.

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