Auckland Action Against Poverty is calling on the Labour led Government to address the causes of child poverty by taking meaningful action to massively increase the income of adults in poverty. “While the commitment by Labour to make this Government and future Governments accountable for tracking child poverty reduction progress through the Child Poverty Measures Bill is commendable, without a commitment to meaningfully increase the income of adults in poverty, ending child poverty is simply not possible”, says AAAP Coordinator Ricardo Menéndez March.
“The real test will be whether the Government is bold enough for its target to be the eradication of poverty altogether, rather than simply setting arbitrary child poverty reduction targets. People living in poverty shouldn’t have to rely on the good will of Governments to deliver the transformative changes that are needed to eliminate poverty.
“Child poverty doesn’t happen in isolation, it is a symptom of an economic and political system that is designed to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor.
“It’s hard to imagine meaningful progress on poverty so long as we continue having a welfare system that operates on punitive measures and forces the unemployed into precarious work.
“We demand the Labour led Government make the most of its next 100 days to commit to ending all sanctions on beneficiaries, provide all people with a living income, start a mass build of state homes, and tax the rich in order to find the revenue to implement these changes.
“In order to meet these demands, this Government will have to rethink its fiscally conservative approach imposed by the Budget Responsibility Rules it committed to before last election. There is no question that ending poverty will require increased spending by the Government, and capping Core Crown spending at around 30% of GDP will severely limit the Government’s ability to implement the policies required to reach an ambitious target of poverty elimination.”