poverty

Van Beynen on the money

Martin Van Beynen occasionally has a ripper of an article.

This is one of those occasions.

Guess what? Fixing child poverty in New Zealand is not that hard.

Let’s call it the John Minto solution. First, every family with less than a certain income will be brought up to a minimum stipend based on what is required for the family to live comfortably in their location.

If they can’t find good quality accommodation at a reasonable price, maybe because they have a bad credit record or a record of smashing up their previous flats, then the state will provide them with a nice place to live in a nice street at a modest rent.

If they have harmful addictions, those will receive concentrated and long term attention. However long it takes. Tendencies towards crime and violence will be met with counselling and psychiatric help. Any health, including mental health, issues will receive the best specialist care and they will receive 24hr life coaching and advice from trained support staff. Children will receive extra tuition and any proclivities towards anti-social behaviour will be handled at a best practice standard.

If members of the family want to work, they will be guaranteed a meaningful job at a good wage and all the training and support they need. All this help will be provided in a non-judgmental and unconditional way. If they want to have more children, that’s fine too.

Cost? Not relevant.

Read more »

We got it all wrong. Having no money makes you a criminal

biggestRadio NZ are pushing so many poverty tropes at the moment it is hard to keep up with them all.

The latest one is that poverty makes you a criminal…as well as a dead beat parent.

Some womble do-gooder from University and a left-wing activist with the Child Poverty Action Group thinks Judith Collins is wrong too:

There’s help there for all those who need it, she argues. Well, those who work with struggling families know how much more difficult it is to get the help needed under this government.

Ms Collins’ position is strange, to say the least, because the evidence doesn’t support her and she’s part of a government which says it is committed to evidence and to effective use of knowledge and research to support policies and actions.

Interesting how selective the use of evidence can be.

Studies from around the world tell us several important things about poverty and crime. Poverty is linked with crime. Those who experience poverty are much more likely to be the victims of crime than those in more affluent communities. As a British review of the research noted: “Most children raised in poverty do not become involved in crime, but there are higher victim and fear of crime rates in disadvantaged areas”.

That said, there is good evidence that, compared with their more affluent peers, children brought up in poverty are more likely to be reported as having behavioural problems, more likely to be reported for aggressive and/or risk-taking behaviour, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to be the victims of criminal behaviour, more likely to grow up in communities with limited social and recreational opportunities and facilities.

Read more »

We got it all wrong. Having no money makes you a bad parent

The whingers are out in force trying to prove Judith Collins wrong.

Apparently, we got it wrong, having no money makes you a bad parent.

A counsellor who’s worked with troubled Northland families for more than 40 years says poor parenting is a natural by-product of inter-generational poverty.

Police Minister Judith Collins has blamed poor parenting for many problems, including youth crime.

Ms Collins’ comments were in response to a question from a Northland police officer about the experience of child poverty making people join gangs in later life.

She responded that financial problems were a less important cause than the lack of proper care for children by some parents.

“I don’t just see monetary poverty,” she said. “I see a poverty of ideas, a poverty of parental responsibility, a poverty of love, a poverty of caring.”

Ms Collins then said that in New Zealand there was money available to everyone who needed it.

“I can tell you that it’s not just a lack of money, it’s primarily a lack of responsibility – I know it’s not PC – but, you know, that’s just me.”

She later told RNZ her comments had been twisted out of context, and she had been responding to a question which she felt unfairly linked child poverty with crime.  Read more »

UNICEF pimps a report so they can bludge more cash from Kiwis

UNICEF are pimping a report into child poverty that claims more kids than ever before are living below some arbitrary poverty line.

A poverty line that would have three-quarters of the third world gagging at such largesse.

UNICEF says it’s time the Government did something to help lift Māori and Pasifika children out of poverty, even if it means targeting them because of their race.

About 300,000 Kiwi kids live below the poverty line according to UNICEF. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on Saturday slammed New Zealand’s ongoing failure to fix the problem.

UNICEF New Zealand executive director Vivien Maidaborn told The Nation on Sunday the Government’s doing a lot, but the outcomes “don’t stack up” because they aren’t addressing the wider causes of poverty.

“Specific initiatives for children will only ever go so far. It needs to be connected to housing policy, employment policy, economic development.”

The UN report said affirmative action should be taken “if necessary”, and even singled out Māori and Pasifika children, as well as “ethnic minorities, refugee children, migrant children, children with disabilities, lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and intersex children and children living with persons from these groups”.   Read more »

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Labour are dead in the water – now resorting to reheating old policy

It is a sad political party that reheats yesterday’s dog sick as policy.

Political parties are being urged to stop quibbling over definitions of child poverty and start working together to do something about it.

It’s become a burning issue since Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft threw out a challenge at the weekend for child poverty to be cut by 10 per cent a year.

The government doesn’t accept that any one measure is accurate and says it’s better to focus on the causes of deprivation.

Labour says that’s cowardly and party leader Andrew Little is going with Judge Becroft’s figure of 149,000 children in poverty.

[…]   Read more »

Madness: Wellington mayoral candidate wants you to host P addicts, drunks and violent homeless

It really is the silly season at the moment. All sorts of ratbags and deadbeats are vying for votes and also coming up with insane and dopey ideas.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the left-wing with dopey ideas.

One of Wellington’s mayoral candidates wants to help people make their spare rooms available to those in the city without homes of their own.

Jo Coughlan said she would consider putting up a person who was homeless in her own spare room if it would help.

Her suggestion came as the Wellington City Council received an update on its strategies to approach homelessness and begging.

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if interested citizens could perhaps sign up to host a homeless person, particularly a person in transition,” Ms Coughlan said.   Read more »

Kerre “party girl” McIvor fears retirement and poverty

Occasionally, when I pick up the tab for younger colleagues or friends, they remonstrate with me. “No, no,” they say. “Let’s divide the bill equally.”

“Leave it,” I say. “It’s a form of compulsory saving. When I’m old and living in a council flat and sharing cat food with my moggy for dinner, pay me back then.”

I’m only half joking. The thought of being old and poor terrifies me – but only now that I’m getting older.

When I started work at 17, I didn’t give retirement a thought. I’d only just started my working life. I was more concerned about getting through my probationary period as a reporter and surviving on the pittance I was paid, than about planning for life in my 60s and 70s.

When I decided it was time to woman up to my responsibilities, I was lucky to land a great job. The Irishman and I gave up the drink and devoted ourselves to paying off the mortgage as quickly as possible.

As much as it pained me, the bulk of our combined salary went on eye-wateringly dull things like mortgage repayments and income protection and insurance.

When you have family to look after and you finally accept that one day you may indeed be old, you do what’s right and sensible.

But even now, I have no idea how to plan for the retirement I want. My dad died at 60. My maternal grandmother lived until 99 and my mother shows every sign of following suit. Read more »

Rodney Hide on who is reponsible for the so-called homeless

Rodney Hide’s column in NBR is on the so-called homeless and the dodgy and wonky statistics used to support claims of increasing homelessness in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a problem but it isn’t homelessness.

It began with Labour calling on TV to highlight the plight of the homeless and producing a total dud.

Labour promised the cameras 17 poor people, with some living in a tent on a front lawn. Instead, an industrious homeowner was busy renovating and using the tent for furniture and materials. His only upset was the journos arriving to film, gawk and gasp at his promised plight.

Labour have been collecting hard luck stories to pimp to the media and that was one they never did the research on. They are doing the same thing with Police.

Next was the shock-horror headline of one-in-a-hundred homeless Kiwis. This was a University of Otago study produced by running the census data through an algorithm. The results don’t pass the “let’s-think-about-this-for-a-minute” test. One percent of Kiwis homeless. Really?

Turns out the five of us spent 2014 homeless and didn’t even know. That year we were “LAMAH” – meaning we were suffering a “Lack of Access to Minimally Adequate Housing.”

We were in very temporary accommodation (tick), our usual address (tick), our income was below the Jensen Equivalised Annual (gross) Family income (tick), we were severely overcrowded, suffering first a two-bedroom, then a three-bedroom deficit once wee boy was born (tick, tick).    Read more »

If you are retired and don’t own your home, you’re the cause of your own housing crisis

Is there no limit to the amount of stupid Newshub will show as they push and pimp the so-called housing crisis?

New research is showing older people who are forced to rent may be suffering poorer health outcomes compared with those who own, and live, in their own homes.

The Massey University study is highlighting the societal impact New Zealand’s housing crisis is having, particularly in the larger centres where unaffordability is growing.

Ninety-two-year-old Shirley Wright is not who you’d expect to be in a flatting situation, but living with 12 others, she couldn’t be happier.

“It’s much better living in an environment when you’re older than living alone because when you live alone you imagine all sorts of things,” Ms Wright says.

Ms Wright lives in Auckland’s Abbeyfield House. It’s a charity-run, shared accommodation and there are 15 around the country where volunteers help with the day-to-day running.   Read more »

This is not a hard luck story, it is a story of utter stupidity

The left-wing are all aghast at the story about the mother of eight living in motels and racking up massive debts.

Apparently it is the government’s uncaring policies and the fault of them for this woman’s poverty predicament.

Simon Maude reported:

An Auckland woman and her eight children living in a one-bedroom motel unit have racked up a $78,000 debt with Work and Income for their “emergency housing” costs.

[…]

The Auckland woman with the $78,000 debt said she was evicted from her Housing New Zealand house after it was found to be contaminated with methamphetamine. Despite being cleared of drugs by a CYF investigation, the woman said she was blacklisted by Housing NZ, forcing the family into emergency accommodation.

The woman and her family have now been staying in motels for 10 months and have racked up a debt of $78,000 in emergency housing money.

Her partner and her eight children – ranging from ages 11 to five months – have been staying in a one-bedroom motel in Mangere.

It was their third motel and she has given birth to two children while living in the motels.   Read more »

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