Children and the Living Wage (2017)

Children and the Living Wage (February 2017)
A background paper prepared for Child Poverty Action Group by Associate Professor Susan St John and CPAG researcher Yun So

New Zealand was once a model for other countries to follow in regard to its egalitarianism. Today, there is high income and wealth inequality and an unacceptable level of family poverty and homelessness. The age group that has the highest levels of material deprivation is the group aged 0-17 years. CPAG applauds efforts by Living Wage Movement Aotearoa (LWMA) to raise wages in New Zealand as one means of addressing this problem.

This paper argues however, that while better wages are essential, on their own they are an insufficient response, especially to child poverty. Higher basic wages must be accompanied by strengthening the generosity and effectiveness of tax-welfare policies (Boston, 2013).