The Prime Minister is backing official advice not to spend any more money on tackling child poverty, but to change family assistance funding instead.

Officials are recommending the Government not spend any more money fighting poverty, despite believing that would alleviate the problem.

Ministry of Social Development officials have suggested that the Government give less money to poor families with older children and instead give more to those with young children.

One of those who helped with the report, Otago University researcher Simon Chapple, is surprised by the advice from the Ministry of Social Development.

“The job of a government department is to offer free and frank advice to the Government of the day and my reading of it was that it was free and frank advice strongly tailored to the political preferences of the Government of the day.

“So the notion that no more money should be spent, you know, seems a very political one.”

The advice has finally been released under the Official Information Act after Radio New Zealand made a request in May last year. It took a complaint to the Ombudsman’s Office to force former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett to release the information – but even then she managed to delay the release until after the election.

Officials acknowledge spending more money can help alleviate poverty, in a paper dated February 2013.

“If the policy objective is to reduce measured income poverty for families with children then clearly the incomes of low-income families need to increase (eg through higher employment income, reduced taxes or higher transfer payments),” the paper says.

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Surprise surprise, John Key is backing the incompetent Paula Bennett and the Ministry of Social Development’s recommendation not to spend any more money addressing the 25% of children in New Zealand that live in poverty. New Zealand voted for more of the same and here it is. Expect child poverty to increase further over the coming years as Key focuses on looking after his wealthy mates and big corporations instead of those Kiwis most in need of help. 

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One Response

  1. bevan marino

    We cannot take this genocide against our children lying down whilst the affluent in this country grow richer by the day.


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