Jacinda Adern released a press release today that trumped the success of the government in lifting 18,400 children out of poverty.
In the year ended June 2019, about one in seven New Zealand children (168,500) lived in households with less than 50 percent of the median equivalised disposable household income before housing costs are deducted.
After housing costs have been deducted, the number of children living in New Zealand in relative poverty rises to one in five children (235,400). This measure, accounting for both inflation and the impact of housing costs, shows about 20.8 percent of children live in households with an income below half the 2017/18 median equivalised disposable household income.
As well as looking at incomes before and after housing costs have been deducted, Stats NZ reports on material hardship, which indicates the number of households missing out on more than six of the 17 basic things most people would regard as essentials.
Examples of material hardship include the respondent reporting not eating fresh fruit or vegetables, putting off a visit to the doctor, or not being able to pay the gas or electricity bills on time,” Mr Broughton said.
Looking at that material hardship measure, in the year ended June 2019, about one in eight children (13.4 percent) lived in households reporting material hardship. There was no significant change from 2017/18 to 2018/19 in material hardship rates.
The Child Poverty Action Group noted that “the hardship measures have not changed for the last six years, while those in severe hardship may be worse.”