Raising benefits must be priority for incoming Government

This week Child Poverty Action Group is releasing a set of policy recommendations on how an incoming Government, following the September 19 election, can virtually eliminate child poverty.

***Click the link the our full set of policy recommendations for income support policy***

In this video CPAG researcher Janet McAllister highlights the key aspects of our policy recommendations.

CPAG researcher Janet McAllister says eliminating poverty starts with improving the income support system which holds back so many of our most vulnerable families.

“Our current income support system has too often entrenched inequities, indignity and intergenerational trauma,” she says.

“It penalises people in relationships and it keeps those caring for children or unable to work below the poverty line.”

McAllister says CPAG’s vision is for an income support system which upholds the mana and dignity of all people.

“Such a system would guarantee all of us an adequate standard of living regardless of our ethnicity, gender, age or relationship status,” she says.

“It would protect all children and their whānau and families, including those in low-paid work.”

Among the recommendations, CPAG is calling for the next government to: change the purpose of the Social Security Act to “uphold the mana of the people” (as recommended by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group); raise all benefit levels; individualise benefits; remove sanctions for parents of dependent children; forgive any existing MSD debt; and extend the In-Work Tax Credit to all those children in families receiving benefits.

McAllister says extending eligibility of the In-Work Tax Credit and removing MSD’s discriminatory relationship rules would be two very effective, but simple measures, that could make a big difference to many children and their whānau.

“As recent polling data has shown,[1] New Zealanders’ are increasingly supportive of changes to MSD’s unfair relationship rules.

“This is one measure we would hope all political parties consider as we head into an election.“