Welfare Working Group shows no understanding of social security

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is dismayed that the just-released report from the government’s Welfare Working Group contains recommendations that will only add to New Zealand’s already high child poverty rates. The group’s insistence that only paid work is of value is a further attack on a system supposed to enable parents to raise their children with a measure of financial security.


CPAG spokesperson Mike O’Brien says: “The last two decades have seen a gradual erosion of the income support provisions for children.  The reduction of support for children has not reduced child poverty. On the contrary, it has increased it.

“The tightening of support for families outlined by the WWG ignores the complexities of people’s lives and their relationship to the current labour market. The data very clearly shows that beneficiaries including sole parents will take up paid work when it is available. However, the last Household Labour Force Survey showed that the part-time jobs parents might be able to do while caring for their children are rapidly vanishing. The working group has ignored a great deal of evidence put before it to bolster its case that beneficiaries need to be motivated back into work.”

CPAG is asking the government to bear in mind the principles of adequate social security including an investment in the wellbeing of all members of society so as to ensure that all children are nurtured now and in the future.