Experts: Restart universal child payment
An expert group appointed by the Children's Commissioner has released its findings on the best way to reduce child poverty in New Zealand.
There are many excellent ideas in the plan to end our denial over the 270 000 NZ children living in poverty.
Allowing fathers to pay their child support directly to the mother rather than hand it over to the state would not only benefit the children, it would increase child support payment compliance.
Raising the family tax credit and restarting the universal child payment are ways to directly impact the pocket and the warrant of fitness for all rental housing would force the slum lords to adequately heat their homes, but the food in schools programme just doesn't go far enough.
Supporting organisations like KidsCan, Fonterra and Sanitarium just won't go far enough if we want to lift the educational achievement of the poorest children. KidsCan runs in 223 low decile schools and mostly provide fruit and snacks rather than actual meals.
Feeding our poorest kids can't be a charity supported endeavor, it must be a fully state-funded programme.
MANA have put their 'Feed the Kids' Bill into the ballot this week, at a cost of $100 million, it proposes to feed every decile 1 and 2 school breakfast and lunch. That's 531 schools representing 113 095 pupils.
If we are serious about changing child poverty rather than talk about it, we require genuine investment.