Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Children's Commissioner thinks more children on benefits is OK


Since becoming Children's Commissioner, Andrew Becroft's strong left leanings have become increasingly apparent. In this interview he gets right into blaming Rogernomics and neoliberalism for child poverty. 

But this is the soundbite I heard:

Becroft says the present Government has done more than any previous regimes to help kids out of poverty. 

"We were well-placed to deliver this year, but I guess COVID wrecked all that. I just hope we don't drop the ball next year." 

He cited the Families Package and linking benefits to the average wage as achievements by the current government.

If NZ was "well-placed to deliver"  earlier this year then the Commissioner must be comfortable with 12,000 more children being on benefits.

At 31 December 2019 there were 206,395 children aged 0-18 reliant on caregiver on a main benefit (185,930), Young Parent Payment (1,531) or Orphan/ Unsupported Child benefit (18,934). That's 6 percent higher than at December 31, 2017.

Of the 59,637 births during 2019 10,882 babies were welfare-dependent by year end. Nearly one in five. Over half - 57% - were added to an existing benefit.

New Zealand's child poverty problem cannot be solved when high numbers of children live in non-working homes. Raising benefits and reducing the income margin between work and welfare will only incentivise more people to opt for welfare. This normalises benefit dependency for their children and the habit becomes inter-generational.

In 2008 Finance Minister Michael Cullen said, " is desirable to create a margin between being dependent on a benefit and being in employment....

The Labour Party isn’t the party that says living on a benefit is a preferred lifestyle. Its position has always been that the benefit system is a safety net for those who are unavoidably unable to participate in employment. From its history, the Labour Party has always been about people in employment."

The more the current Labour government ignores this, the more intractable the child poverty problem will become.

Same goes for the Children's Commissioner.


gravedodger said...

Should have delivered that ignorance in the face of reality from Cindy's Podium of Truth, not that it would have any more truth as content

Oi said...

Becroft needs to come join us here on planet Earth!

Hilary Taylor said...

What Oi said.

Brendan McNeill said...

Socialists don’t understand the role perverse incentives play in producing child poverty. Apparently.