Tag Archives: Child Poverty

Figures in a new report suggest the number of NZ children living in serious poverty is greater than the population of Dunedin

Thanks to thecontrail.com for this link

From odt.co.nz

Figures in a new report suggest the number of children living in serious poverty is greater than the population of Dunedin.

The 2019 Child Poverty Monitor also shows that those living in areas of high deprivation are three times more likely than other children to be admitted to hospital.

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft said the affected children were often going without shoes, healthy food or easy public transport access to doctors and dental care.

“We have 254,000 children living in households with less than half the median income after paying for their housing.”

He said big and bold changes were required to support the 148,000 children needing help.

Stats NZ says Dunedin’s population is a little over 130,000,

“I want to see family incomes dramatically raised by increasing benefits and making the minimum wage a living wage,” Mr Becroft said.

“And the government needs to move much faster at increasing the supply of social housing – building, buying and repurposing – and working closely with community-based housing providers.”

The annual Child Poverty Monitor is the work of a partnership between the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Otago University’s Child and Youth Epidemiology Service and the J R McKenzie Trust.

Mr Becroft was pleased with Child Poverty Reduction legislation, the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy, and linking benefits to wages.

“Government has made increases in Working for Families, Best Start for Children, and winter energy payments. This is a fantastic start.

“But we need to see significant and permanent changes to unlock opportunities for those doing it hardest. One-offs aren’t going to cut it anymore.”

He told Morning Report there were two aspects to be addressed.

“We need an increase in incomes, some courageous decisions about benefits. Secondly we need to massively increase state housing supply. Housing, income levels are crucial.”

He said benefit needed a 20 percent to 40 percent increase at the minimum – that’s a $2 billion spend.

“We’re playing catch up to make up when benefits were slashed in 1991. We’ve never recovered from that. The gap between benefits and wage growth has got wider and wider.”

‘We’ve got the money in the bank’

He suggested free lunches rolled out across more schools, free dental and mental care through to ages 18 or 21.

“We’re talking about families struggling on $400 to $500 a week, where over half of that – as it is for almost all beneficiaries – is on housing, the rest is left for essentials.”

He said there was usually next to nothing left for sports clubs registrations, music lessons, or birthday gifts for friends.

“We’ve got the money in the bank, we just need to commit ourselves to prioritising children.”

He said the minimum wage going up in the next year was a great step.

“There’s been great economic growth in New Zealand,” he said.

“We could spend pretty easily. We could do for the under 18s what we did for the over 65s if we had the will.”

Gerry Forde of the Spirit Army organisation in Invercargill that helps struggling families said while government agencies provided good support, it’s not the government or money that could solve poverty – it was the community.

Mr Forde said for many of the families they were helping, trauma was one of the biggest causes of their poverty.

“Money’s not the problem. The problem – and this is the reality for most of the problems in society – is these parents have been terribly and horrifically abused as children. And that has destroyed their sense of identity, their belief in themselves. This is exactly how all of them will talk to you,” he said.

“They fundamentally believe they are a piece of crap. And how can anyone who has that basic belief ever achieve anything in life?”

Spirit Army mentors have helped get beneficiaries off their benefits and back into the workforce, they’ve prevented parents from attempting suicide and have connected families to social groups for support.

Mr Forde said the path wasn’t always straightforward, but they’d seen a lot of people set free from some of their struggles.

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/more-kids-poverty-people-dunedin-report

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

NZ NOW RANKS AT BOTTOM OF DEVELOPED WORLD – thanks Nats, you do us proud

The latest Unicef report has us languishing at the bottom of the developed world in relation to the health and welfare our children and youth. This report was based on the data our government collects and concerningly, with regards to child poverty, a ranking wasn’t provided because of a refusal to follow standard practice (an admission of failure?). In many documented areas we are seriously neglecting our young people (ranking numbers are determined by the data provided from a maximum of 41 developed countries):

  • Child Poverty (41/41?) I consider that we must be by far the worst in the developed world for child poverty when the Government refuses to use the same measures as other countries so that we can be ranked. Our Children’s Commissioner and the Child Poverty Monitor currently state that 14% of our children suffer from material hardship. We have a much higher threshold to determine this and require 7 elements to recognise hardship, while most other countries use only two. The US is ranked 33 out of 37 for child poverty and they have 21% of their children in households living below the poverty threshold. 28% of our children live below the poverty line and 16% live in jobless households, so I would surmise that we could be the worst. We also have the most expensive housing in the world and a homelessness problem that has exploded in recent years. Between 2006 and 2013 homelessness grew by 25% and involved 1% of the population and 53% of our homeless were families with children. Now that shortages have become increasingly pronounced over the four years since then, I would suggest around 2% of the population is now homeless and many more are living in substandard housing. Third world diseases like rheumatic fever are now common place here, and are directly related to housing poverty. New Zealand is clearly too afraid to provide relevant statistics to enable us to be ranked.
  • Teen Suicide (34/34) We are the worst by a great margin. The median number of teen suicides per 1,000 for developed nations is around 7.5, while 15.5 of our 15-19 year olds take their own lives. This is a shocking indictment on the ability of families to support their teens and our severely under-resourced mental health system. I can imagine few developed countries that would lock struggling youth in adult prisons because of a shortage of youth facilities. Those specialised youth facilities that do exist are run like prisons for hardened criminals. Youth prisoners can be locked in their cells for 19 hours a day, which is classified as torture, is emotionally damaging and unlikely to support rehabilitation.

READ MORE

http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2017/06/nz-now-ranks-at-bottom-of-developed.html?spref=fb&m=1

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The illusion of choice & why the Nats (who usually don’t care about the poor) are welcoming more refugees

From William McGregor
 

Y’ know, we have an election coming up later in the year, and all I seem to hear from the die-hard Kiwis is “National has got to go; Key & his ‘cronies’ have sold us out (to overseas investors)”!
And they’d be right, but there’s a far BIGGER issue going on here, if you take the time to dig deeper! Here’s what I see; this is MY view ….

Politics in Aotearoa has always been between TWO major parties – no different than almost every country in the world; that’s just the way it has ALWAYS been.
Yes – other smaller parties have come (& gone) & they have been more of a DISTRACTION than a help; and they serve to make people feel there ARE other alternatives, but there’s not – there’s left or right, (up or down, in or out) – that’s just how it is!

Third, fourth generation Kiwis have grown tired of the same old record playing the same old song…. we went backwards & forwards – National/Labour, Labour/National and it got to a stage where Labour was looking forward to having their turn again …..

Key did some VERY SERIOUS DAMAGE ….

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Selling out to overseas investors, back-door deals – leaving faster than he came into the political arena; this WASN’T by chance; this is VERY ORCHESTRATED by very POWERFUL PEOPLE, something most can’t BEGIN to understand!

Polls (strategically held in specific areas) have been used by the media to manipulate the masses! If those polls were held in Otara (Auckland), Highbury (Palmerston North) or Aramoho (Whanganui), they would be SO DIFFERENT they wouldn’t be recognizable!

Seventy to eighty thousand immigrants (refugees) a year over the last few years – that wasn’t by chance either! THINK! Those who arrived since 2008, and have applied (& got) voting rights, WHO do you think they would vote for? – the party that brought/allowed them (& their families) here, or the other party?! Straight up …. and they’re PUSHING New Zealanders to take a minimum 50 thousand per annum; they are GUARANTEED VOTES for them (National). Who bites the hand that feeds them?! They (the NEW New Zealanders) would feel OBLIGATED to vote for National; most would see Aotearoa as “Club Med” compared to the countries they came from!

We can’t even accommodate our own, yet the “Government Depts. can’t help our new arrivals enough…. housing/benefits/medical/schooling/employment …. by chance?! – NOT ON YOUR NELLY!

Regardless of party policies, you will ALWAYS go to the ones you feel are your rescuers, and National know this; they RELY on it, and they will play it to the hilt!

And we will let them, because that’s how we roll …

 

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Ask yourself, what do the Nats care about the homeless in NZ, about child poverty, about youth suicide? Under their terms we’ve seen those stats worsen to the point we’re the world’s worst at all of them! And so in that light the above opinion rings very true. Were they truly caring they would also be caring for their own. They’re not. As I repeat regularly, under their watch we have all these dubious stats of shame. They don’t even flinch about it. Business as usual. So the caring motive doesn’t hold water for me. And it’s not about Kiwis not caring for the needs of refugees. I’m sure most us do. The point here is, we’re deep in the mire with 42K homeless. Their doing. I have noticed, Herald’s published an article with the affirmation of no less than four other former NZ PMs on the need to welcome 500 new refugees now.  So four other riders (of the same horse) agree. Very comforting.  EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

NZ tops list of developed countries with most homeless – thanks National you do us proud

Well congratulations Nat government/corporation, you’ve now put us on another dubious ‘honour’ list. Most homeless? Two homeless gentlemen recently dying in the winter cold even. Highest youth suicide. Highest child poverty. Well done John Key. Well done Bill English. You do us proud. What next are we going to excel in?

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Photo Credit: with thanks Penny Bright

Who next can you simply kick to the curb with your boot that’s looking increasingly fascist these days? Twenty billion to weapons and war, and only one to housing? Whilst you land bank our state homes, 42K people sleep in tents, garages and cars. Your monetary priorities say it all. You’ve ushered in neo-liberalism on steroids. You’ve trashed not only the people but the environment as well. And what use is any economy with neither of those?

NZ tops list of developed countries with most homeless

Social Housing Minister Amy Adams is rejecting an American University survey that puts New Zealand at the top of a list of developed countries for homelessness.

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Yale University has released a list of developed countries ranked on the number of homeless people per capita – which has New Zealand at the top, followed by the Czech Republic and Australia.

It found about 40,000 people are either living on the street, in emergency housing, or shelter considered sub-standard.

The report does note that getting an accurate picture of homeless is challenging, because many countries define homelessness in different ways.

Ms Adams said the findings should be treated with a high degree of caution, as the survey did not have consistent comparisons from country to country.

“They’re not comparing apples with apples and to suggest that is our number of homeless is quite wrong.”

READ MORE

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/335556/nz-tops-list-of-developed-countries-with-most-homeless

 

Key, Bringing on the Pre-Election Lollipops … ‘Delivering Fairness to Everybody & a Bit More to Lower Incomes’

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Key hinting at the goodies he’s considering for prospective and gullible voters

Watch Key in the Newshub video (link in article below) gesticulating with his hands, bumbling along, trying to describe a package that might just possibly garner a few votes from the folks who have effectively wiped him now. It will make you nauseous I warn you. He is moving craftily from ‘let them eat cake’ to rations of sugary election sweets, which we all know won’t last beyond election day.

This is a man, a former banker, who has basically raped and pillaged our nation since he was elected, selling off our assets with little accountability, unloading our state housing  stock that just happens to sit on prime real estate … while heartlessly ignoring the 41,000 plus who are  homeless, promising lollies here for the poor … having ignored growing child poverty in his midst,  taxing himself 2.8% and the real workers 28%, and telling us he has a family package that will aim to … get this …

“deliver fairness to everybody, and a bit more at the lower income level”

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This is breathtaking arrogance. Having quickly forgotten he grew up in a state house himself, he is totally ignorant of the true state of the nation under his watch. Unbelievably, he thinks he can just front up with a little lolly scramble to titillate the voters. For a reminder of what has happened under his watch listen to Green Party’s Gareth Hughes earlier this year delivering an apt and succinct overview…

For a full transcript of this speech go to The Daily Blog.

“Kia ora

Prime Minister, I’ve sat and listened to all your speeches opening Parliament and I’d like to congratulate you on delivering your 8th speech.

It’s a real accomplishment and you must be now thinking how history will remember you.

Just outside of this debating chamber are the portraits of our great leaders.

From Seddon, to Savage and Fraser to Kirk how do these giants who established universal suffrage, a caring state in the midst of a depression and world war and a modern independent, bicultural New Zealand compare with you?

Is the flag it?

Your desperate, lumbering, grasping attempt at building a legacy with a flag won’t mask the realities.

Hungry kids up
Inequality up
Pollution up
Debt up
Housing costs up
Electricity costs up
Foreign ownership up
Corruption up …”

READ MORE

See Bryan Bruce’s excellent coverage of growing child poverty in NZ

RedSkyTelevision


Here then is the article from newshub.co.nz, including the video… if you can tolerate listening to the hypocrisy…

Key: Families first in line for tax cuts

The Prime Minister has indicated any tax cuts offered next year are likely to be delivered with a scalpel, rather than a hammer.

The 2017 Budget will be delivered in May as usual, about six months ahead of the general election, where John Key is expected to seek a fourth term.

Speaking on The Nation on Saturday, Mr Key said there is a “range of options”, but hinted that he’s leaning towards tweaks to Working for Families and the accommodation supplement.

Simply cutting tax rates or lifting the thresholds at which higher rates kick in wouldn’t be “fair to everybody”.

“If you lower the bottom rate, you give it to everybody at the top and it costs a fortune,” he explained.

“Whereas you might be able to do some integrated family package… which delivers fairness to everybody but a bit more meaningful at the lower-income end.”

But changes to income tax brackets haven’t been ruled out. Presently, the top rate of 33 cents in the dollar kicks in at $70,000. As incomes rise, more people find themselves earning enough to start paying the top tax rate.

“People are getting bumped into the top personal rate without doing too much,” says Mr Key.

Asked if beefing up the accommodation supplement was on the cards, particularly in areas where rents have risen sharply, Mr Key said: “That may well be right.”

He hasn’t yet decided whether any changes would come in Budget 2017 or used to woo voters in next year’s election campaign.

READ MORE

For more insights into John Key’s banking past and the various anomalies we see under his watch go to ‘categories’ (left of any page) for further articles… see ‘banking’ in particular.  Or use the search box. 

EnvirowatchRangitikei

The “Brilliance” of John Key

 

 

John-Key-Swimming-Pool-Metro-2006Dave Kennedy

Leaders of other conservative Government’s look at John Key’s continued popularity with envy. New Zealand’s National Government has the same agenda as most other conservative governments and yet despite New Zealand’s richest blatantly continuing to capture a greater share of the country’s wealth and government services being increasingly reduced and privatised, the Prime Minister remains popular…

John Key’s government has managed to continue the work begun by Ruth Richardson and has obviously learned from Jenny Shipley’s mistake of not ensuring public acceptance of drastic welfare change. Ruth Richardson’s Mother of All Budgets is regarded as the most significant step in dismantling our welfare state. Drastically cutting welfare benefits was a deliberate strategy to drive down wage costs. It was Richardson’s belief that maintaining unemployment at around 5% and keeping welfare payments low, workers would then be more likely to accept lower wages. Child poverty was around 8% pre 1991 but escalated to 15% by 1992. While there was some reduction under the previous Labour Government, with the introduction of the Working for Families tax credit, child poverty is now close to 30% in 2016.

READ MORE 


Find other
articles & links about John Key & his corporation that parades as a government by searching in categories (left of any page) or the search box (at right of any page). 

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EnvirowatchRangitikei

Under Key’s watch Rape crisis centers closing and food banks doing a brisk trade – Green Party’s Gareth Hughes

“You delivered tax cuts the country couldn’t afford and leave us $120 billion in debt, a superannuation crisis, crippling student loans and a generation locked out of home ownership” Gareth Hughes, Green Party

Our country NZ that we like to think of as being a democracy, technically has been one in name only for quite some time now. We are actually a corporation, listed on the Security and Exchange Commission website (SEC) as such, with the Queen as the listed owner. Indeed our local District Councils are also companies, listed on the Dun and Bradstreet website. Check it out. A company is ‘any formal business entity for profit which may be a corporation, a partnership or individual proprietorship’.

This has ramifications for how they both function. If corporations and companies have profits for shareholders as their primary concern, then how can they be true to democratic aspirations, or truly fulfill that function? We’ve already been seeing the outworking of this incompatibility for quite some time now. Constantly corporate interests are overriding any care for the environment, in spite of Horizons and District Councils’ much touted mantra of ‘sustainable development’. Big business aka corporations are not interested in cleaning up the damage they inflict and they hold little interest in preserving the environment. At least not beyond lip service anyway. They’re claiming ownership of our water supplies to sell off shore for profit, and charging local farmers far higher prices to tend to our own agricultural concerns. In our own district corporate interests are wrecking our roads and trashing our waterways with our own local Rangitikei District Council turning a blind eye and on loading the expense to the rate payers. Sustainable?

So here is a scathing address to John Key on the state of our nation by Gareth Hughes of the Green Party at the opening of Parliament. Laid bare, the facts are astonishing … he speaks truth …

“Hungry kids up, inequality up, pollution up, debt up, housing costs up, electricity costs up, foreign ownership up, corruption up ….”

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Homelessness is a growing problem in NZ, and the government continues to sell off our state housing stock, the former pride of our [once] Welfare State
Other insights included:

  • Once you attacked the nanny state of efficient lightbulbs but then presided over the most wide reaching mass surveillance state in our country’s history
  • Our most poll-driven PM ever, yet after all these years we still don’t know what you stand for
  • Scientists have been ridiculed and silenced and NGOs have had their funding and voice cut
  • You delivered tax cuts the country couldn’t afford and leave $120 billion in debt, a superannuation crisis, crippling student loans and a generation locked out of home ownership.
  • After selling our assets you are now selling out our sovereignty to corporates and the Hollywood industrial complex
  • You grew up in a state house but now that you’re on the 9th floor you’re even selling them too
  • 300,000 kids growing up in poverty

Read More at The Daily Blog: 

http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/02/11/debating-the-prime-ministers-statement/?utm_content=bufferbe7f7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer