Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cunliffe's criticism over-eager

CPAG point out Key's statistical blooper on child poverty last night.

Mr Key said of the 260,000 children defined as in poverty, 11 percent are in working families while 75 percent are in benefit-based families.'

These figures are completely wrong, says CPAG spokesperson Professor Innes Asher. The Ministry of Social Development's Household Incomes Report key findings say:
Poverty rates for children in working families are on average much lower than for those in beneficiary families (11% and 75% respectively), but 2 out of 5 poor children come from families where at least one adult is in full-time work or is self-employed.

Key memorised the numbers accurately but their context incorrectly. An NCEA marker would give him points for being half right.

And Cunliffe milks it...

John Key is so out of touch with the working poor in New Zealand he underestimated the number of children in poverty by more than 70,000, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.
“During last night’s leader’s debate, John Key said 11 per cent of children in poverty are in working families. However, figures from the Ministry of Social Development show that figure is 38 per cent.
“The National Party Leader has convinced himself that it is mainly beneficiaries who are living in poverty.
“Sadly the reality is that under his Government a new generation of working poor has emerged.

...rather too eagerly

Also according to MSD figures: 2004, of all children identified as poor, around half were from households where at least one adult was in full-time paid employment

-   - in 2007, this proportion had dropped to just over a third
So the "working poor" pre-dates National's most recent term.

The important things to note about children in working families living below the 60% median household threshold (some on a mix of benefit and wages) are these children tend to be in temporary rather than chronic 'poverty', and not experiencing 'deprivation'.

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