Child poverty a 'disgrace' - Labour
Wed, 29 Aug 2012 6:27a.m.
Every week 40,000 children turn up at school without breakfast and child poverty in New Zealand is a "national disgrace", Labour says.
Its MPs are citing a report released on Tuesday which says 270,000 children - 25 percent - are living in poverty.
Social Development spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern says the Children's Commission report demands immediate action from the Government.
"It points out that the incidence of child poverty is `unacceptably high'," she said.
"The number of children living in hardship is also up from 15 percent to 21 percent - if there's one thing we should be doubly outraged about it is that."
Education spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta says 40,000 children turning up at school without breakfast is "appalling".
"Teachers often tell me they have to provide breakfast and lunch for their students so they can pay attention in class. It's just not good enough," she said.
"Child poverty is a national disgrace, it's a health issue, an economic issue and a matter of social justice. It is also an education issue."
Ms Mahuta says some parents keep their children out of school because they don't have winter clothing or shoes.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the recession hit low income families hard and the Government is working its way out of that.
She has told her officials to work with the Children's Commission so it can have input into the white paper on vulnerable children she is drafting.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
16/09/2012 3:28:47 p.m.
The people who are on benefits, who let their children go to school without food, have to be spending their money on other things. I would like to see the benefit include vouchers for food, which did not include softdrinks,crisps, smokes, alcohol, DVDs etc, and clothing. Maybe then children would get fed and clothed and be more healthier. Afterall the benefit is mainly for them but do they see anything of what the money should buy?
10/09/2012 3:11:03 p.m.
Mike, wage raises are now a outdated modeling factor to increasing inflation rates. Fonterra bases its prices on the world commoddity market, as is meat products and fuel. The rental arkets are being offset by often foreign students creating uncompetitive demand.We are now really a second world country on a par with Cuba. We shouldnt even be on the OECD ladder or have any expectations of being so. decreasing wages just means more poverty for everybody, a few rich elite wont make the difference or create businesses. Most employment in NZ is through small owner operated businesses, if workers dont have the money to support them, NZ is bankrupt.
5/09/2012 3:03:11 a.m.
Fact: There is no such thing as poverty in New Zealand. I have spent a considerable amount of time travelling through some of the worlds worst poverty stricken third-world countrys. New Zealanders have nothing to complain about in that respect and those that do need to learn to be grateful for what they have.
31/08/2012 3:10:18 p.m.
Since someone likes to quote Americain speeches ..."Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country"Always having the hand out is not the way to make NZ a better place. At some stage people need to do something for the country, not just expect everything given to them. Now the higher income earners are paying their way, why not those on benefits?If take 33% tax, add ACC, GST, your already over 45%. If Kiwisaver your up around 50% is already being collected, and some have the gall to say high income earners are not paying their way?What we have is greener pastures syndrome, everyone looks at the higher income earners and says, wouldn't it be nice to earn so much, but they aren't willing to get off their backside to do so.Is rent too high where you live? Move. Its a simple solution. The alternative is to put a stake in your home vs rent, then your accomodation will be more fixed, ie not subject to rent rises etc. Typically you can buy similar to what you rent for around rental costs in mortage.I couldn't afford a home where I wanted to live, so I purchased cheaper in a rougher area. As I saved up, I could then afford to move to a better area - welcome to the property ladder!@Smithy while pokies can be profitable for pubs, they dont make much money from them if compare to what they make on alcohol. Take one of the popular local pubs that on a busy night hold over 500 barely legal drinkers, and they drink till they get bumped out, to make room for less drunk drinkers. Thats a lot of alcohol, and a lot of profit. Can clear 3/4 a mil turnover each week.Even a quiet pub can turnover over $1000 an hour from alcohol, and when take off the staff and cost of alcohol, thats still very profitable. Pokies have an average around 50K a year each, ie it takes them a week to turnover as much as a quiet pub can turn over in an hour. Amount spent on alcohol is much more than is gambled.
31/08/2012 10:45:03 a.m.
@Mike, problem gamblers are a reason why people are in poverty, your take on the social ills in NZ are so narrow mided.. Access to pokies, and the inability to get assistance when required are the reasons why people have problems. its called problem gambling for a reason, and the social costs far out weigh the revenue that is generated.If you take pokies out of pubs, these pubs will collapse due to lack of revenue that these pokies provide. How much does the stste provide for those that have a problem, not enough and they want to reduce it even further. Take a look at the people you know, 1 in 5 who gamble will most likely have a problem
31/08/2012 8:32:58 a.m.
NZ has problem gamblers too.They suffer the same inability to live within their means.So is the solution for the problem gamblers the same, just keep NZ paying them more till we bankrupt NZ?Idiotacre has been going on about the mean wage being the real ave wage, and how the mean wage is just above the min wage. so in 1990 the min wage was around 80% of the mean wage, and now its just below the mean wage, ie its too high! so on that basis we should be lowering the min wage. Which is it?Raising the wage for no reason just adds inflation, costs jobs, costs the country. If you have say $400 a week and are spending $450, then raising the $400 by 50% to $600 will flow on till your sending $675, ie even a bigger shortfall. NZ is in recession and rasing costs wont magically make people who cant budget and live within their means to do so.We need to do something about housing, and the highest numbers of permits for new housing in 5 years is heading this way and will help this. This is partly the RMA's fault as it has strangled development with red tape/costs and caused a housing shortage which has pushed up house and rental prices more than needed. Ease the house/rental prices back a bit, and everyone will be able to spend a little less on rents etc, and doing it in a way that isn't pure inflation. On the plus side, more housing should see the construction industry pick up which will flow through the rest of the NZ economy with more jobs etc.NZ has WINZ, working for families, housing NZ, rent subsidies, student loans to help get educated after leave school. We have a lot of social assistance. Auckland is much warmer than much of NZ, ie it doesn't really get cold. 6-8 is typical of overnight lows, while in much of NZ they get frosts, ie much cooler. Clothing/shoes are cheaper than it used to be, eg Warehouse. Its not that bad.Living healthily and cheaply is simple enough, but noone said it was easy.
30/08/2012 4:56:26 p.m.
Fair Kiwi wrote:
Well then (Labour) why the hell in the nine years you were in power didn't you do something about it.
Now you want to back-stab National to gain re-election. Get of your lazy rear ends and do what we pay yous for.
The public are sick of all this crap.
30/08/2012 4:16:08 p.m.
I think John Key meant the 'Brighter Future' he was campaigning on is in Australia.
30/08/2012 12:07:51 p.m.
its a real problem, one that alot of us just dont understand but the problem in alot of cases can be helped with good free budgeting advice. bring in foodstamps and prepaid power and rent for the benefits. it can be done.
30/08/2012 9:39:05 a.m.
There is 'no' poverty in NZ. It is in places like africa and asia.
Prime Minister John Key has labelled the Labour-led Opposition the "devil beast"...
What began as a protest for more pay has morphed into a battle against cheap bur...
Police had to physically push anti-poverty protestors back after they tried to b...
Shamed National MP Aaron Gilmore has given a teary final speech in Parliament....
Outgoing National MP Aaron Gilmore has promised "utu" in his validectory speech ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.