CPAG joins call from budget advisors for Govt to increase benefits urgently

14
205

Budgeting services cannot help people who do not have enough income to meet even their basic needs, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

As New Zealanders, we all agree that children should be able to live good lives, and have all the support they need to thrive. But families suffering hardship in our country are being forced to navigate difficult and stressful processes to access supplementary assistance for basic needs such as food. Obtaining advance benefit payments and recoverable grants creates debt to Work and Income, with repayments meaning less income than before, reinforcing hardship in a vicious cycle of hopelessness.

CPAG joins the call from MoneyTalks financial mentor Adrienne Gallie for the Government to urgently respond to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendation to increase benefits.

“Work and Income are referring many people, who apply for supplementary assistance, back to agencies for budgeting assistance and mentoring. But those at the coalface of these services are very clear that it is lack of income, not lack of ability to budget that is causing the hardship,” says Associate Professor Susan St John, CPAG’s Economics Advisor.

“It is a destructive, frustrating, time-consuming and unacceptable situation. Poverty in New Zealand is a national crisis, with deprivation affecting children with devastating long-term costs to them and to society. Our paediatricians are seeing abnormally high rates of poverty-related diseases and children with multiple learning issues. This is not a country that is the best place in the world for bringing up children.”

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

CPAG was hopeful that 2019 would have been the year of change, and that poverty would not be, once again, a major election issue.

“We urge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has made reducing child poverty a major aim of her Government, to make the bold changes children desperately need,” says St John.

CPAG says the Government has a responsibility to counter the negative and uninformed narrative about people on benefits and to show true leadership in this responsibility.

CPAG calls on the Government to immediately lift benefits, significantly reduce the reliance on supplementary means-tested payments, and improve the returns to part-time work on the benefit.

Furthermore, CPAG urges the Government to give all low-income families access to the full Working for Families package for the care of their children. This would cost around $0.5billion per annum and immediately make families on benefits at least $72.50 a week better off.

“There is absolutely no justification for policy that excludes the worst-off families from a tax credit that has reducing child poverty as its key aim,” says St John.

“It is not good enough to wait for Budget 2020 decisions that will take another full year to come into effect, and only if the Government is re-elected.

“Action is needed right now.”

14 COMMENTS

  1. “We urge Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has made reducing child poverty a major aim of her Government, to make the bold changes children desperately need,” says St John.

    THIS is what should be being blasted from every tv and radio station, and HEADLINED in every NZ newspaper, until something is done about it!!!!!!!!

    Susan St J continues, “CPAG says the Government has a responsibility to counter the negative and uninformed narrative about people on benefits and to show true leadership in this responsibility.

    “CPAG calls on the Government to immediately lift benefits, significantly reduce the reliance on supplementary means-tested payments, and improve the returns to part-time work on the benefit.”

    Is the government listening??
    Or are they asleep on the job?

    Action is needed right now.”

  2. Social welfare, MSD, winnz what ever you want to call them have been doing this shit for donkeys years. How do I know I was on a benefit its entrenched in our state system and some of the mongrels that work for them I mean us. Now this needs to change ASAP not next year after the election and part of an election sweetener I mean election bribery. Also national had a bloody cheek to say they raised the benefit by 20$ when they cut it in 1990 with their mother of all budgets and the person wasn’t even a mother oh yeah that’s right she was a mother, a mother father aunty ruth who got a knighthood for being a Marama Davidson. ps. I don’t want to use that word so I call it a Marama Davidson nothing against her personally. Can you guess the word it starts with the same letter starting my sentence .

  3. Social welfare, MSD, winnz what ever you want to call them have been doing this shit for donkeys years. How do I know I was on a benefit its entrenched in our state system and some of the mongrels that work for them I mean us. Now this needs to change ASAP not next year after the election and part of an election sweetener I mean election bribery. Also national had a bloody cheek to say they raised the benefit by 20$ when they cut it in 1990 with their mother of all budgets and the person wasn’t even a mother oh yeah that’s right she was a mother, a mother father aunty ruth who got a knighthood for being a Marama Davidson. ps. I don’t want to use that word so I call it a Marama Davidson nothing against her personally. Can you guess the word it starts with the same letter starting my sentence .

    • Actually Michelle, they never raised the benefit by $20 (or $25 as they claimed at the time). To receive that amount a beneficiary could not be in receipt of the accommodation supplement or any form of temporary assistance. Essentially the vast majority of beneficiaries.

      The actual amount most received was between $9-$12 and quickly eaten up with regular rent and electricity increases.

      This was actually highlighted in a press release from the Green Party but totally ignored by the MSM

  4. Meanwhile… we’re spending billions on roads and billions more defending ourselves against ghosts from the second world war…
    Um helloo, we have no exterior enemies, only our own internal governance system, forking all $$ to the top.
    Let’s see now, if our Minister for Ensuring Childhood Poverty, can actually reverse some of this funding, to act on CPAG’s recommendations and turn things around, before our crime rate gets any worse.
    Dare you Minister.
    Seven year old’s should not have to steal from neighbours freezers as the only way to get a meal.
    Not Enough means Not Enough.
    It’s that simple

  5. If youre lucky enough to get all of your entitlements paid to you on time every week. You’ll be getting close to 63% of the average working wage. Thats if youre getting all of your entitlements.
    So, lets say you are. So, where does the remainder of the 37% come from? Do you get a 37% discount on your rent? Like fuck you do. Or how about a 37% discount on power, water, petrol or public (private) transport? I guess your answer is no?

    There has been two 2% increases in the passed 30 years. (28×2=)56% increase is whats needed now.

    Then, how about the loss of purchasing power of the dollar over the passed 28 years, let me check, hold on … thats 56.6%!

    So quickly, tell me this. Have wages kept up with inflation and the devalued dollar for workers and beneficiaries?

    The rich are ok, so dont worry about them, the governments looking after them just fine.

  6. The dog eat dog society we have thanks to Rogernomics and Ruthanasia, is why no one much cares about poverty and inequality. Neo liberalism requires “winners” and “losers”-and the latter are poor by choice and bad attitude, according to the well off swine running WINZ/MSD.

    The fact is generational poverty and the NZ underclass resulted from 80s/90s macroeconomics including trashing the Welfare State, that the displaced and their descendants had little to no say over.

    Carmel has obviously been captured by the public service tops, and the PM seems little better. The only way to get change will be direct action like the old “burn Shipley, burn!” demo days. Marama Davidson is one rare ally in Parliament on beneficiary issues, so may be the Green Party.

      • All other options will be considerably worse for beneficiaries. The system turns like a battleship, not a speedboat.

        • The system turns like a battleship, not a speedboat.

          True, that.
          More so when it’s been powering ahead at 35 knots for the previous nine years, in the opposite direction, into enemy territory.

Comments are closed.