The Child Poverty Action Group has released a list of recommendations for the budget. Its a socialist wishlist and as such, a waste of their time.
CPAG has nine recommendations for the Government leading up to this year’s Budget:
1) Set a target date to end child poverty, and undertake to produce a child impact assessment for all proposed legislation.
There is only relative poverty in NZ. By definition it is impossible to end it.
2) Treat all children as deserving support and acknowledge that parenting is important work. Recognise the ‘In-Work Tax Credit’ as part of family assistance that is needed by all low-income families, as the ReStart package proves. This should be done by adding $60 to the first child rate of the Family Tax Credit.
As I have commented before if there is no financial incentive to work more people will opt for or stay on benefits. Having no working parent is bad for children.
3) Increase social assistance payments to adequate levels, and make good on the pre-election promise of raising the earned income disregard for beneficiaries from $80 to at least $100.
What is an 'adequate' level? The second part of 3 I agree with.
4) Abandon development of proposals for income splitting.
Agree. Flat tax would be better.
5) Provide free primary health care for under-18s, at all hours.
The resources aren't there. Many people can afford to take their children to the doctor but can't find one.
6) Increase the operating grants for low-decile schools to cover all children’s basic educational needs, including the provision of amenities such as swimming pools.
The grants are already heavily weighted towards low decile schools.
7) Ensure that 20 hours free ECE is extended to Playcentre, Kôhanga Reo, state kindergartens, and not-for-profit private and community-based education and care services.
As with GPs the lack of amenities is more of a problem than affordability. And already, many low-income children have a single mother who is paid to look after her children full-time and, on top of that, paid a subsidy to put them in ECE. This is a recessionary budget isn't it?
8) Urgently address the severe overcrowding and poor living conditions of thousands of children by expanding the state house building programme and providing extra funding to community housing providers.
More state housing = more ghetto-like neighbourhoods. Explain to people that having children makes them poorer (unless they are on a benefit). If they are already poor, it might not be a great idea having more.
9) Tax capital gain from residential property in a fair way, for example by using the risk-free rate of return method.
Oh yeah. Keep on taxing the 'rich' to pay for all of the above. They won't mind.
In addition, the group urges the Government to implement plans to improve children’s access to better nutrition, including making breakfast in schools available unconditionally to all children in all Decile 1, 2 and 3 schools.
If their parents can't afford to get a couple of pieces of toast into them before they go out the door they need budget advice. Not more money.
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