Government oblivious to real causes of child poverty

Official advice to the Government proves what the Green Party has been saying all along, that you cannot lift children out of poverty without addressing low income.

Radio NZ has obtained new information - which Government had redacted from a previous Official Information Act response – that the Government wouldn’t solve child poverty without raising incomes. 

“The Government chose to hide the fact its policies weren’t going to solve poverty because it did not want to raise low wages or benefits,” Green Party Social Development spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“This deception has kept families in poverty, and led to children and other vulnerable kiwis going without the basics like food and warm homes.

“The official advice to Government was that raising income levels is an effective ways to lift children out of poverty.

“It’s time for John Key to stop pretending that income doesn’t matter. Children will continue to go without if their parents are not earning enough for them to thrive. It’s not rocket science.

“Government needs to address child poverty by ensuring incomes through work and through the welfare system are enough to allow families to thrive.

“The paltry $25 benefit increase from the Budget, the first in 40 years, is not enough to lift children out of poverty.

“Much of this increase will be clawed back through abatements to other benefits. If the Government was serious about raising low income, it would ensure that families got to keep the full $25.

“If it really wanted to help children in poverty, the Government would review benefit levels, commit to a living wage, and make the $60 a week in work tax credit available to all low income children, including beneficiaries,” Ms Logie said.