Child poverty reduction bill destined to fail

Damien Grant writes an opinion?piece at?Stuff: quote.

I was a little surprised to see the Government has introduced a bill on child poverty.

During the last years of the evil Key/English administration barely a week went by without a news story, TV documentary or breathless angst on National Radio about the 40,000 homeless and 200-and-something thousand kids living in poverty.

These have thankfully ceased. So,?naturally,?I assumed that the problem had been solved. end quote.

Apparently not. But there are big problems with this Bill, as it stands. quote.

For a start it commits a government to outlining 10-year objectives for tackling this scourge. Which is nice because anyone with any understanding of history appreciates how well five and 10?government year plans usually work out and even better when the average life-span of a government is well under 10?years. end quote.

No government can bind future governments… although don’t worry, the socialist governments try really hard to change this every time they are in power. quote.

Child poverty will continue to be measured on a relative basis. The bottom 20?per cent of income earners, essentially, will be classified as poor, which has the merits of a never-ending problem that will require an ever-growing and interventionist government agency to deal with. end quote.

I thought Jacinda’s new-found knowledge of advanced statistics would mean that she would understand that this is not the way to measure poverty. If everyone was earning over $100,000 per annum, this method would still mean that the bottom 20% of earners were classed as poor. Madness. quote.

One bright spot, to be fair, is a provision for the minister to identify objective measures of poverty based on actual, rather than relative, hardship. This is to include a reference to a child’s health, education and housing.

Alert readers will notice that the state has a near monopoly on the first two and heavily regulates the third, and generally does an appalling job on all three.

Poor results in these areas will, however, not result in a reassessment of the merits of a failing state system. Rather, they will provide an impetus for ever more rounds of intervention, reporting, and regulation. end quote.

I think it is fair to say that, for poorer families, the state is directly involved in housing as well, as most of them will live in state housing.

I am a firm believer that it is impossible to solve child poverty, unless Jacinda’s plan is to form Oliver Twist type schools and workhouses and take all poor children away from their families. The government needs to tackle poverty. Most children live in families, and if the family is poor, the child is poor. I am not talking solely about money; if a child is unloved, poorly fed or inadequately clothed, or does not attend school regularly, the family income does not matter.

I go back to Deb’s idea of?wrapping people in support?to help them to manage their money and lead better lives. These problems need to be tackled on an individual basis, rather than a blanket approach that simply throws money at a problem with no real thought about the outcome.quote.

Perhaps the Government can take a step back and acknowledge that although their intentions are always noble, and I have no doubt that the Prime Minister is genuine in her desire to help children in need, this bill is destined to have the opposite effect. end quote.

In other words, it will have no effect at all, except to cost the taxpayer a small fortune in providing solutions that don’t work, failing to fix problems that they cannot fix.

Another interventionist socialist government. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam.