Poverty Watch 16

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, December 15th, 2012 - 13 comments
Categories: national, poverty - Tags:

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.

I was planning a special edition of Poverty Watch this week, focusing on the release of two important reports, the Children’s Social Health Monitor 2012 Update Report released on Monday, and the Children’s Commisioner Expert Advisory Group’s report on Solutions to Child Poverty (EAG Report) released on Tuesday.

As it happened though, other Standard authors covered the headline messages in various posts, Killing our kids, Help our kids!, This, and there has already been a bit of discussion. So instead I’m going to read these reports in detail, and cover bits of them in Poverty Watch posts over the next year.

I think it’s fair to say that between them the reports paint a bleak picture. 270,000 children need our help. 600 children have died from poverty related causes over the last five years. It’s a disgrace. To me the two things that absolutely highlight the callousness and stupidity of this National government are that…

(1) The costs of child poverty are in the range of $6-8 Billion per year, but the Nats refuse to spend the $2 Billion that would be needed to really make a difference. Even in purely rational economic terms National’s attitude makes no sense.

(2) The Nats refuse to even measure the problem: “John Key also ruled out new legislation which would set out an official measure of child poverty and require the Government to set a target to reduce it”. They believe in measurement and goals when it suits them to bash beneficiaries, but not to address child poverty. Words fail me.

This is the last edition of Poverty Watch for the year. I’ll be back next year to dig in to the reports. See you then.

13 comments on “Poverty Watch 16”

  1. ak 1

    Good work r0b, thanks to you, Campbell et al quite clearly the message is not only getting through, but taking hold even in the most unlikely strata. The Fonterra move almost bowled me over – the tory heart of heartlands playing Micky Savage. With little adverse reaction, to boot. (though would love to be a fly on some cowshed walls lately….)

  2. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 2

    Thanks r0b we need to keep looking at this and you give us the facts we need to know. Have a good holiday break.

  3. karol 3

    Thanks for keeping on top of this, Anthony, and keeping the Key government non-action in plain view.

  4. r0b 4

    Thanks all. Depressing subject to feature week after week, but yes I feel it needs doing.

    I’m not quite off line for the year yet, but I will be by next Saturday.

    Anthony / r0b

  5. Treetop 5

    Purchasing iPads and school uniforms in the New Year is going to cause further hardship for many low income families and non donation school fees and in some cases fares for travel to secondary school.

    I expect that too many families are just trying to get through Christmas for now.

    The long break from school can also be expensive to entertain adolescents and teenagers.

    I don’t mean to sound gloomy; children only get the one childhood and they deserve to be spared from financial burden.

  6. xtasy 6

    2 billion NZ dollars, now was that not the size of the tax cuts that benefited the better off a few years back? Or am I wrong? Yes, we are in a dire situation, selling off more assets, selling more NZ companies off-shore, down-sizing, outsourcing, off-shoring, cutting the minimum wage for youth, soon cutting entitlements to benefits by introducing a punitive regime, forcing even sick and disabled to look for work, and an inflated NZ dollar to cater for foreign speculators to use it to make prospective currency gains, same as John Key did in his younger years!?

    NZ is on the “right track” to a ‘brighter future”, I hear.

    Where is the “brighter future”???

    At the same time, do not let Shearer and Labour off the hook, as they did stuff all this last year, to address REAL issues and develop a real alternative plan for better economic, social and other policies.

    So I will look towards 2013 in utmost fear and worry, as we do not seem to have enough opposition to offer a real alternative. I am really very, very afraid, and if I had my way, I would abandon Labour and start a new, inclusive and resolute new left party, to shake up the whole political landscape in this increasingly corrupt, rotten and sold out country!

  7. mike e 7

    Poncekey couldn’t even find a couple of million to fund kids can.

  8. indiana 8

    Why hasn’t WFF and other welfare benefits worked?

    • felixviper 8.1

      It has. WFF lifted tens of thousands of kids out of poverty. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10839028
      What hasn’t worked is sitting back and letting 50,000 lose their jobs, sacking thousands of public servants, refusing to back manufacturers and supporting foreign train manufacturers over our own, and cutting access to education and training.

      • indiana 8.1.1

        That doesn’t explain why we have generations of families on welfare or still living in state homes.  WFF may have helped a few (the ones that knew that state welfare is only a helping hand not a lifestyle choice) but it did not eradicate “poverty” in NZ.  

        • xtasy

          indiana: Do you know people living in Housing NZ homes?
          Do you know the scrutiny they are facing, already since Labour’s last governed?
          Do you know what the backgrounds are of those you are on about?
          Do you know what keeps people in poverty?
          I would say at least to the last question, stigmatisation, neglect, poor educational and training opportunities for those able to work, but not able to afford tertiary education, or not able to meet requirements for such, plus a negligence of apprenticeships and hands on jobs, that may explain something.
          Then you will always have those too sick and otherwise incapacitated, who would never be able to get a job. So there will always be a percentage of people down there, and why punish them with market rentals, which will only mean more accom supplements by WINZ or homelessness.
          You have NO answers to that, I am afraid! 

        • xtasy

          If it was a “lifestyle choice”, why do people earn more working than being on a benefit and also living in Housing NZ homes then?
          Somehow you are a sponge sucking up brainwashing material from the wrong quarters, I am afraid. You make no sense and have NO sense!

  9. Dr Terry 9

    Key himself is a man in poverty, that is, poverty in soul, mind, compassion (feel free to add).

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