October 08, 2012
Welfare paper waited with dread
The Government’s white paper spelling out new policies to address child poverty is due out this Thursday, and Mana Party spokesperson Sue Bradford is expecting it will make the plight of vulnerable children even worse.
Ms Bradford says the released of the green paper more than a year ago seemed like an election stunt rather than a serious attempt to confront the issue.
She says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett doesn’t listen to the people working in the sector, so it’s unlikely she will take notice of the 10,000 submissions to the green paper.
“A lot of the groups that made submissions asked the same questions I’m asking. If you don’t lift the incomes for children where the parents are in work and where the parents are out of work, if you don’t lift the minimum wage, if you don’t support job creation so fewer people are unemployed, or if you don’t lift benefit levels so people actually have enough food and a roof over their heads, things are only going to get worse for these kids, not better. Unless the Government addresses that, and they are clearly going in the opposite direction, not a lot is going to change,” Mrs Bradford says.