Sunday, December 21, 2014

CPAG exaggerate benefit cuts

Innes Asher is as spokesperson for the Child Poverty Action Group. She wrote a piece that was published in the NZ Herald on Friday. Not unusually it was misleading. This is my response by way of a letter to the editor. (Yes, I seem to have written it many times before but if they can keep repeating themselves, so can I.)

Dear Editor

According to Innes Asher (NZ Herald, December 19), "In the 1991 Budget, the universal child benefit was abolished, and income support benefits were cut by about 21 per cent, resulting in a doubling of children in poverty."

In fact, although the universal child benefit was abolished, nearly half of the saved funds were re-allocated to the means-tested Family Support. As for the DPB, the benefit most welfare-dependent children rely on, the cuts were 10.7 percent for those with one child, and 8.9 percent for those with two children (Social Developments, Tim Garlick).

If benefits are raised to relieve child poverty there are two distinct risks.

Numerous studies have shown the rate of unmarried births increases with lifts in welfare income. Already around half the children in poverty are in single parent homes.

Secondly, OECD research found that when the state reduces child poverty through greater income redistribution, the number of work-less homes also rises.

The lasting solution to child poverty lies in employment and committed parental relationships. Trying to solve it via more welfare will only exacerbate the problem in the long term.


Anonymous said...

Well if CPAG exaggerages the benefit cuts so does everyone else. And all this is moot, because the Shipley, Clark, and Key governments have continued to do nothing but raise benefits and increase eligibility every year for the last 25 years.

We can eliminate welfare in NZ the obvious way - by eliminating welfare. Or we can do nothing.

MIke said...

"Numerous studies have shown the rate of unmarried births increases with lifts in welfare income"

Can you link a couple of these studies?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

pages 78-80 provide a number of studies.

"In all, there have been 14 major studies that have found a statistically significant correlation between welfare and out-of-wedlock births."