What on earth is welfare for, If not for feeding kids?

Once again the parties of the left, aided by their plants in the civil service are calling for poor kids to be fed at school.

Every day thousands of Kiwi kids go to school hungry or without lunch.

They are more likely to fail in school, to have poor health and to feel ashamed. Some of our considerable additional investment in children in low- decile schools is wasted because they can’t concentrate on learning. We are all affected by the additional costs of future low productivity and welfare dependency.

The expert advisory group on solutions to child poverty report I released in December last year recommended implementing a targeted food in schools programme to support children to learn and succeed. 

Since publishing the report we’ve been talking to schools and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) providing food in schools programmes and we have learnt more about how they work and what effective programmes look like. There are many reasons why children go to school hungry, all of which paediatricians, teachers and social workers see regularly.

Poverty, high rental costs, acute and chronic debt, parental mental and physical illness, intellectual disability, domestic violence, lack of shopping and cooking skills, and lack of support all play a role.

All very well, but he misses the point that welfare was supposed to alleviate all of that. The state is already providing money to parents, ostensibly to care for their children, including feeding them. Now all of a sudden it seems to the role of the state to feed children.

Will there be a corresponding drop in welfare payments for the value of the food the state will now be feeding their children with? There should be.

We have a welfare state for a reason…to provide for those in need. Unfortunately what the welfare state has created is a nation of bludgers unable to even feed their own children. And so welfare extends and the pool of contributors who are taxed gets smaller and smaller.

The real problem is that too many Kiwis think the government is their defacto parent and are happy to give up responsibility for their own lives in exchange for a bribe.

The problem isn’t that kids need feeding, the problem is that some parents are just plain shit at their job and no amount of food in schools or extra welfare is going to address the issue that they are shit parents.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.