Friday, April 03, 2015

Raising children on a benefit is not an "unpaid activity"

From Census 2013:

Proportionally, more Māori and Pacific peoples spent time looking after children from their own households (42 percent and 41 percent, respectively), compared with other ethnic groups participating in this unpaid activity (around 30 percent each).

I dispute the term "unpaid activity". For many parents, time spent "looking after children from their own household" is time spent on a benefit, usually the Sole Parent Support (SPS). Each week they receive a payment from the government to look after their children.

"Unpaid activity" somehow suggests an altruistic motive. It is misleading to lump together people who are sacrificing earnings to raise children with those whose are raising children as a source of income.

Characteristics of working-age recipients of SPS at the end of December 2009, 2013 and 2014

Dec-2009Dec-2013Dec-2014Annual change
Male 8,391 6,823 6,093 −730 −11%
Female 78,676 71,020 66,441 −4,579 −6%
NZ European 32,378 26,976 24,329 −2,647 −10%
Mäori 37,275 35,662 33,940 −1,722 −5%
Pacific peoples 8,797 7,536 7,052 −484 −6%
All other ethnicities* 7,059 6,552 6,196 −356 −5%

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Raising children on a benefit is not an "unpaid activity"

of course it's not: but it should be!