Universal allowance needed for children
Wed, 10 Oct 2012 10:01a.m.
By 3 News online staff
The public has only until the end of the week to respond to proposals on child poverty from an expert advisory group set up by the children's commissioner.
Victoria University professor Jonathan Boston says New Zealand needs to do more to help its at-risk children.
“Quite a few children are going to school without breakfast, and sometimes without lunch or with a very inadequate lunch, and this is not a matter of choice but because it seems their parents cannot afford to provide adequate food and nutrition for them,” he told Firstline this morning.
Prof Boston says children are vulnerable, and do not choose to go hungry – so opposition to a state-funded food programme is unfair.
“We need to bear in mind that in many countries around the world food is provided in schools to many, if not all, students. Countries do this partly because they see this as a good investment in education,” he says.
Prof Boston says New Zealand is unusual as it is one of the only OECD countries to not provide some sort of universal family benefit.
“There’s a good case for having universal assistance and particularly for young children because we know that from a huge amount of evidence having a good start in life really matters,” he says.
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10/10/2012 9:42:49 p.m.
Dave and Mia, are you foster parents? if not, are you able and willing to provide good stable care for abused and / or neglected children? Our CYFS system can't remove more children from their parents as there is nowhere for them to go. There is a desperate need for caregivers who can put in the time, finance and energy into children over the long haul. In this situation it's either that (and not only you, but many more kind souls) or some of your tax money. We are ALL accountable.
This issue is not the child's fault. They have no control here. If we don't want "money thrown at it" Mike then don't give the money to the parents - provide the food directly. It is that simple. The cost may seem huge short-term but I'd bet the long term savings would far outweigh the initial investment.
10/10/2012 2:37:45 p.m.
How much will providing lunch in School cost?Well if employ people vs use volunteers etc they will be cost around $4 a lunch per student.2011 figures have 760,000 kids in school.Call it a cost of 3 million a day.is around 200 school days?cost 600 million to NZ a year.Thats operating cost.Almost all NZ schools lack facilities to prepare lunches on the scale needed so they will require probably $5-10 billion in investment to build the facilities etc.We can't afford this currently. We need parents to take some repsonsibility and if they dont we need to do something about getting them to take responsibility for the problem.The problem of hungry kids is not about money.Some it is the kids themselves, some is the parents. Some is lack of education of knowing how to budget, live within a budget and live helathily on a budget.There were kids not getting lunch back in the 80's, and this that scheme to help such parents has just seen money thrown at the problem and the problem grow. Throwing money doesn't work.
10/10/2012 12:50:17 p.m.
First we would need a govt in power to actually believe that there is child poverty in nz and secondly we would need that govt to give a damn. NZ should have put in place funding to provide for school lunches years ago. It is way more cost effective to nip it in the bud before we end up with a nation of malnourished, brain impaired, under educated and sick citizens in the years to come.
10/10/2012 12:15:31 p.m.
@DAVE i fully agree!! i know plenty of families on bugger all money and they manage to look after their families... the others that cant wont even if they get more money, they only use money as an excuse..
10/10/2012 12:08:15 p.m.
@DAVE : so you are advocating the removal of children from parents into say the proven high risk "care" of CYF to near inevitable abuse, teen pregnancy and prison. Because the parents have been made redundant or have taken any job they can get low income or not. Why not improve industrial law , employment rate, and child focused funding that has been found to be greatly lacking??
10/10/2012 10:41:41 a.m.
we will not fix this problem by trowing money at it, if you give a lot or parents more money, they will not spend it on the kids in need. Time to start removing kids from some families that wont look after them.
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