Auckland Action Against Poverty has launched a campaign to stop children being punished for the sins of their fathers.
In this particular case it’s where fathers of beneficiaries aren’t known, so cannot be named for Work and Income to pursue them.
One can see the original intention of the 1990 law – it’s actually to make sure fathers pay for their children – but often sanctions hit the wrong target (just ask the Iraqis under Saddam).
So instead we see cases where the mother cannot name the father, and so gets her benefit docked $28/week. That’s a big chunk of the benefit, which leaves mothers unable to provide for their children. And – as we need to get back to with all these child benefit rows – the child hasn’t done anything wrong to be punished, and punishing them only results in long-term societal problems. We need to be making sure all our kids succeed, not cutting them short because we don’t like their parents.
Here’s AAAP’s petition for you to sign. It’s backed by Labour, the Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party, giving it 60/121 votes in Parliament. The Hair is wavering, and ultimately National’s response sounds like they’re still waiting for their focus group responses to come in. Only
Arnold Rimmer David Seymour is committed to the sanction. So pressure has a good chance of working – let’s see how many signatures we can bring in.