It isn't at all clear to me what this brave new world of bigger benefits with no strings attached is going to do for children. Money can't buy love. In fact unconditional money finances lifestyles that are not conducive to happy and safe childhoods.
No abuse or re-abuse of children is acceptable. But the facts show that family members and parents posed the greatest danger to these victims. This suggests that where the state primarily fails is in poor decision-making and monitoring of risk. Which calls into question whether the very best interests of the child are being put first and foremost.
The Welfare Expert Advisory Group has delivered what the Green-driven government wanted - a recommendation to wildly increase wealth redistribution - an ideological affirmation. Instead of this charade the Green's 2017 welfare policy could've easily been printed and circulated saving over $2 million in the process.
According to the Dominion Post, April 25, " ...the Government is setting up a welfare overhaul 'expert advisory group' supported by a secretariat of officials from different departments." Labour has promised the Greens an overhaul. The ghost of Metiria Turei hovers.
When a benefit-dependent sole parent refuses to name the father of her children a penalty is incurred. That’s because the state is then unable to recoup any of her benefit from the liable parent.
On the back of last month's budget, opposition politicians, academics and other advocates once again expressed outrage at the incidence of child poverty. The culprits routinely blamed are unemployment, high housing costs and insufficient benefit payments. But another factor is constantly overlooked - the rapid change in family structure.
Listening to Paul Henry interview Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley about the latest condemnatory report into Child, Youth and Family was very dissatisfying. There was no discussion about getting to the real core of the problem.
Lots of people survive courtesy of a benefit. They do so because they are too sick to work, can't find a job, have children who need feeding with no other source of income, and so on. There are a myriad of reasons why people receive welfare. Most of these people - 300,000 or thereabouts - are not violent. The same can be said of the general population.
This week, even Lyn Provost, the Auditor General who has presumably spent many, many hours putting together a report on Whanau Ora said, "It was not easy to describe what it is or what it has achieved." These outsider inabilities to understand the concept may not matter if insiders did. But there is now evidence that parties directly involved disagree about aims and purposes.
Amnesty International makes pronouncements about every country in the world (in this particular report, 160 countries) but cannot intimately understand the development of child poverty locally. The only purpose this report serves is to provide headline fodder for the political Left.