Matt McCarten: Childish tantrums in the House but plight of poor kids ignored

Matt McCarten: Childish tantrums in the House but plight of poor kids ignoredBill English's very successful opposition campaign against the Electoral Finance Bill, with the very public support of the New Zealand Herald and editorial writers of many other daily newspapers, clearly has the Government on the… [NZ Politics]

Matt McCaren, one on New Zealands best political brains, joins Kerre Woodham in berating Labour for having achieved nothing while in power for 8 long years.

When commentators and allies on the left are scornful, you are in serious trouble.

[quote]Meanwhile, in the real world, a serious report was published by the Paediatric Society on the health of New Zealand's children which should have got our politicians' attention far more than the Electoral Finance Bill.

In spite of the economic bonanza we have apparently enjoyed over the past decade, this report shows the proportion of children in severe or significant hardship rose from 18 per cent to 26 per cent. Unsurprisingly, poverty remains highest among sole parents, beneficiaries and their children, who number more than 200,000. It reports that 43 per cent of children in sole-parent families and 15 per cent of children in two-parent families live below the poverty line.[/quote]

So despite the much vaunted Working for Families welfare tax credits tax cuts, child poverty has actually increased under the Labour government! It wasn't a small increase either it is a massive 8 per cent.

[quote]Last year, 40 per cent of all births were in the most deprived areas of our community. This is in spite of a decade of so-called economic prosperity and heavily increased spending on health care. It seems that, rather than address our behaviour to children, our politicians wallow in childish behaviour such as name-calling, throwing tantrums and bullying in the parliamentary playpen.

And what attention did we give this report? Our state-owned television channel invited the authors and officials on to Close Up. But the producers canned the story and replaced it with Nicky Watson's plea for help over her lost dog, Cricket. It seems the deteriorating health of 200,000 children and parents isn't as newsworthy as a lost chihuahua.[/quote]