Middle Class Pain hurts more in an election year than under class pain
Lobbyists float $4b solution to poverty
Child poverty lobbyists are calling for higher welfare benefits and tax cuts for the lowest income earners in next month's Budget - and axing tax breaks for the middle class. The Child Poverty Action Group, led by paediatricians and academics, wants to abolish tax subsidies for KiwiSaver and use the money to cut the bottom tax rate to 10 per cent on incomes of up to $20,000 a year. Its wide-ranging report also calls for extending free primary healthcare for children to after-hours accident and medical clinics and extending the policy of 20 hours a week free childcare to services such as kohanga reo and playcentres, which are parent-led rather than teacher-led. The whole package would cost more than $4 billion a year but that would be partly paid for by axing the KiwiSaver subsidies to save around $1 billion a year. The subsidies are expected to go mainly to middle-class families who can afford to save. The net cost of around $3 billion would be about twice as much as the $1.5 billion which Finance Minister Michael Cullen has publicly earmarked for tax cuts in the Budget, but he is widely expected to deliver somewhat more than he has promised. New Zealand came third-worst in the developed world in a Unicef survey of child poverty around the year 2000, with a quarter of all children then living in families earning less than 60 per cent of the median income.
Great Ideas from the Child Poverty Action Group, amazing solutions, it’ll never happen. Not because there isn’t real pain at the bottom, oh Lord there is, I mean as hard as the poor property speculating middle classes are feeling when buying milk, it is nothing compared to the real suffering at the very bottom, but this is election year and there ain’t no votes in saving the bottom from lives of hell and you have an electorate that is in no mood for kindness, they want National in, and there isn’t any milk of human kindness amongst that howling mob. Of course ignoring the poverty root cause of the problem dooms us to an ever decreasing circle of social problems that get talkback 101 solutions like ‘Lock em all up, bloody Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaoris, they choose to be poor, blame the solo mums’ stuff. Great.