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Friday, November 09, 2012

MANAs 'Feed the Kids' Bill drawn

MANA's 'Feed the Kids' bill has been drawn. Labour also had a private members bill to feed kids as well, but the differences seem to be that MANAs is more expensive.

MANA put the cost of feeding every kid in decile 1 & 2 lunch and breakfast each day at $100m, Labour put it at around $19million.

It was this difference that allowed Lockwood to be convinced that the two bills were different enough to both be in the ballot together.

With unemployment soaring to 7,3% and inequality at the highest level ever in NZ, child poverty can be tackled head on if we as a society decide to feed the poorest members now and play the blame game later.

I've never understood why so many people blame the parent for child poverty. I suspect those NZers have no idea how the benefits were originally set under Ruth Richardson during the mother of all budgets. The minimum calories per week for an adult were established and then set slightly under that. The concept being a hungry beneficiary has all the incentive to find a job.

Our benefit system is constructed using hunger as an incentive. It doesn't get much more ugly than that reality, and unless we are prepared as a nation to deal with child hunger directly, we will never make inroads into the poverty grinding them down.

It's time to seriously consider a state funded food programme into the poorest schools in NZ as a direct means to reverse our child poverty crisis.



At 9/11/12 2:04 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Actually, Bomber, I would advocate putting school meals into EVERY school, regardless of decile rating.

As we've seen in recent times, Middle NZ and right wing loonies seem to attack programmes for the poor as "entitlements".

But when Middle NZ was given Working for Families, there was no such complaints (generally) from the middle classes. Only the Right Wing fanatics whinged about it.

Giving food in schools to all children, in all schools, eliminates the inevitable labelling of "poor" schools.

There's a cost, of course.

But we can easily pay for it...

* We can eliminate free air travel for MPs and their spouses, after they leave Parliament.

* Sell their BMWs and give'em bus passes. (Or better still, they can walk - Bennett could lose a few kgs.)

* Cut the Prime Minister's office by 50%.

There. Sorted.

At 9/11/12 2:05 pm, Blogger Frank said...

By the way, this might be of interest to you,

"National launches its Food in Schools programme"

At 10/11/12 1:32 am, Blogger paul scott said...

There are no figures here, what would it cost to put food into schools.
Where is the line drawn on a decile basis.
The reference above by Frank is 2007. 'What is the cost, it seems like a good idea, what is the progress

At 10/11/12 12:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This bill like many before it will be voted down, as far as the government sees it, allocating funds to feed poor children is an unaffordable luxury. Deficit, getting to target on surplus, blah blah blah…

Now if a member’s bill for feeding children at decile 10 and private schools was drawn, perhaps it will have a chance, just like a bill to subsidise caviar and champagne for the top 1% of income earners.

National’s 2007 Food in Schools programme? Pre-election hogwash, another “brainfade”, what would Mr Key say now in response? Some fakakta drivel on how his government is concerned and is working on addressing the problem, with most of the MSM happily buying this drivel as gospel truth.

The Ruthanasia benefit reforms, reminiscent of hunger plans enforced in other places worldwide in uglier times.


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