Child Poverty

Just been listening to Tau Henare and Wendyl Nissen debating child poverty on Newstalk ZB.

Wendyl was asking Tau how he would cope on family income of $20,000 a year with five kids. I won’t repeat Tau’s answer (mentioned alcohol, cigarettes, Mcdonalds and vegetables) as that is not my point, but I doubted any family with five children could have only $20,000 income.

So I checked it out.

If one takes the worst case with both parents unemployed, and all children are below 13, then the net weekly income is:

$286 Couples UEB
$175 Family Support

This is total net annual income of $24,000 a year which is gross income of $30,200 a year.

On top of that they will either have income related rent of no more than around $100 a week or get accomodation supplement of 70% off all rent over $96 a week. This could be equal to another $5,000 gross a year easily.

If all the children were older the gross income from benefits alone would be around $38,600 a year.

Not luxury but not poverty and somewhere between 50% and 100% greater than the scenario Wendyl promoted as typical.

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