Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Child poverty not driven by historic benefit cuts

The impoverishment of children after the infamous, historical  benefit cuts continues to be pushed by a host of leftists including the Children's Commissioner as a sound reason to now lift benefits substantially.

Here's a breakdown of state-dependent sole parent incomes in 1989 (Q1) and 2020 (Q2):

The tables are compiled from three sources:

The NZ Yearbook 1988/89, MSD Benefit Rate information, The Reserve Bank Inflation Calculator.

The first comparison has the 2020 sole parent receiving more.

But accommodation does make up a larger % of the total sum in 2020.

If I remove accommodation...

...the 2020 sole parent receives less.

If I configure a slightly different family size...

...and again remove the accommodation aspect...

...the 2020 sole parent is receiving  just 1.6% less.

But what must also be taken into account  is the greater availability and uptake of second and third tier assistance in 2020 - Temporary Additional Support and Special Benefit receipt, and Special Needs Grants. I don't have sufficient data at hand to factor these in but know their inclusion would push today's income example over that of 1989.

The narrative that has grown up around the 'notorious' neoliberal benefit cuts driving NZ children into poverty is simply unfounded. All that leads to is wrong diagnosis and wrong treatment.

We don't need a Minister for Child Poverty.

What we need is a Minister for Child Prioritisation (and it pains me to call for any kind of Minister).

People need to hear a strong and unified message that parents must prioritise their children above all else.

If you don't like the message then don't assume the responsibility.

1 comment:

gravedodger said...

Becroft has been a simply terrible holder of the office.
His myopic views of what fundamentally causes Child neglect are not missing the target they invariably fail to leave his quiver.
If more money and your post totally destroys that fallacy, was the answer then it would be so easy. Poor parenting is equated with actual non performance so more money will change nothing. There are many great parents operating with less money but more love and responsibility who out perform the oxygen thieves that divert the funds to their pleasures with the children a lower priority.
Drugs, rotating doors with relationships and almost total absence of what parenting needs to perform at even a minimal level is the problem and Mr Becroft has never addressed that failure in any way. More money is not the answer.