Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summit delegate disagrees with benefit recommendations

Media Release

Thursday, 17 September, 2009

A Child Poverty Summit convened by the Every Child Counts organisation has recommended higher core benefit levels.

As one of the 70 invited delegates attending the Summit welfare commentator Lindsay Mitchell says she did not agree with this proposal. "As a participant in the Social Exclusion workshop which made this particular recommendation, I argued against it. There are at least nine international research papers that show that an increase in benefit levels increases the number of children born outside of marriage or a stable relationship. This has the effect of drawing more children onto benefits, putting even more children at risk of the unintended consequences the Summit wants to reduce."

"Additionally, the figures supplied by Every Child Counts show that of the children living below the poverty threshold 65,000 were in sole parent families. I emphasised that there are currently around 165,000 children reliant on a DPB income. If the majority are not below the poverty threshold, why increase the level of the benefit across the board? Factors beyond the income level are responsible for the poverty."

Neither of these objections was dealt with indicating that the recommendation is more about ideology than enduring solutions.


Anonymous said...

Neither of these objections was dealt with indicating that the recommendation is more about ideology than enduring solutions

Of course. Because the only enduring solution is abolition of all benefits

Take that one, common sense, step - and a whole host of problems go away.

bez said...

It's sad, but I told you so, these things are not about common sense, they're wheel barrow pushing competitions.

Lucy said...

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall Lindsay. Must have been a very 'interesting' (not) meeting.

Lindsay said...

Yes, you would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall. Quite a bit of to-and-fro between Cindy Kiro and I. The look on faces when I said I didn't agree with raising the benefit rate was just disbelief. When I tried to get them to think about matching some of the DPB population with the demands for an expanded child- and aged-care workforce she said she didn't want to see DPB mothers ghettoised in low pay jobs.

(To be fair she wasn't keen on them staying on benefits forever and a day either.)

But do they ever stop to listen to themselves indirectly insulting people who work for a living at whatever jobs they can get?

Perhaps we need to get back to basics and start teaching children that there is honour in working.

Lucy said...

My one and only experience in talking to Cindy Kiro was also very interesting.

Ms Kiro and I definately do not inhabit the same planet.

Anonymous said...

Good on you for attending and good on you for having the nerve to speak up, especially when the majority there would be hostile to your views.

Must seem a thankless job sometimes Lindsay, but I appreciate your work.

This country is in a real mess. We need more brave souls to stand up to the idiots running the show.