Welcome to Poverty watch, a weekly update on the National government’s lack of response to the urgent and growing issue of poverty in NZ. A lot of background issues and links are set out in Poverty Watch one two and three.
In a bizarre comment this week, John Key opened a can of worms that I bet he wishes that he left closed:
Poverty not only reason for suicide spike, says Key
Prime Minister John Key said deprivation may be one of the reasons behind the large number of youth suicides but it was not an explanation by itself.
“Of itself, just being poor doesn’t mean someone will commit suicide … the children of very well-off families committed suicide so it is not as clear as that.”
Key’s comments sound to me like those of a man whose conscience troubles him. “It is not as clear as that” is a weak attempt to deny what is in fact perfectly clear – poverty is strongly implicated as a cause of suicide (e.g. see one old account, and one new).
Poverty and inequality are on the rise in NZ. Suicide (including youth suicide) is on the rise. When confronted with these facts a leader would commit to fixing the problem. John Key mumbles that “it is not as clear as that”…
Poverty Watch always ends with the following list, the National government’s response to rising poverty in NZ:
• National has not yet set any target for reducing poverty