Monday, April 28, 2008

Poor becoming poorer in New Zealand, too

Families most in need are falling even farther behind, mainly because of the low benefit payments aimed at making paid work more attractive to beneficiaries, says a report today from the Child Poverty Action Group NZ (CPAG).

The report, appropriately entitled Left Behind, adds that the Working for Families tax credit has not helped the poorest members of society.

The first blow, it says, was the slashing of social welfare benefits in 1991. "[Then the] gap was widened further in 1996 when the child tax credit was introduced. The child tax credit was available only for children in families who were `independent' of the state and was designed explicitly to create an income gap between beneficiaries with children and employed parents.

"Working for Families and Working New Zealand have entrenched and extended this approach, promoting paid work as the way out of poverty," CPAG says.

"Evidence shows that most beneficiaries leave the benefit system of their own accord when they can. Generous welfare regimes need not result in a poverty trap."

It says Working for Families' in-work tax credit – which grants an extra $60-plus each week to parents who work a minimum number of hours – continues to discriminate against families on the benefit.

"In the good old days, the family benefit was there for all children and did not disappear just because a parent lost their job. Family payments actually went up, to cushion the blow," CPAG spokeswoman Dr Susan St John says.

2 comments:

crowbarred said...

Why are we falling behind? Because we have become wasteful. We dont butter just one piece of bread anymore, we just dont accept 3 channels on TV .. we need Sky TV, we dont just settle for just a Playstation, we need a Wii & a Xbox360 to keep the kids happy. We dont like to roll your own smokes anymore we need the Winfields etc. The world hasnt changed and the poverty hasnt changed and why? Because we can put it on tick, just like the old fashioned promise note from your mother.... Sure we'll pay when the bill comes in. There will be no change unless we respect what our grandparents accepted ... hardship.

crowbarred said...

Why are we falling behind? Because we have become wasteful. We dont butter just one piece of bread anymore, we just dont accept 3 channels on TV .. we need Sky TV, we dont just settle for just a Playstation, we need a Wii & a Xbox360 to keep the kids happy. We dont like to roll your own smokes anymore we need the Winfields etc. The world hasnt changed and the poverty hasnt changed and why? Because we can put it on tick, just like the old fashioned promise note from your mother.... Sure we'll pay when the bill comes in. There will be no change unless we respect what our grandparents accepted ... hardship.