A very misleading story

The headline:

Govt aware it’s doing little to help child : report

You’d see that and think it was referring to the recent Budget initiatives, and that they would not help.

A report has revealed the Government is aware its programmes have been doing very little to help children out of poverty.

Radio New Zealand reported the Government received advice showing its child poverty policies would do little in the short to medium term.

Now we see that it is merely saying they may not help in the short to medium term. Not totally surprising, as much poverty is generational, and it can take a generation to break certain cycles.

The advice came before a $25 increase in benefits for families was announced in this year’s budget.

The paper was written by the Ministry of Social Development in February 2013 in response to the Children Commissioner’s expert advisory group report on child poverty, Radio New Zealand reported.

It’s a paper which was written 30 or so months ago, before both the last two Budgets.

The paper stated the Government had a credible and wide-ranging programme to address poverty – but said in the short to medium term this was unlikely to result in a reduction in child deprivation.

So actually the paper said the Government is addressing poverty – the exact opposite of the headline. Just that the measures work over the long-term.

Green Party social development spokeswoman Jan Logie said the Government chose to hide the fact its policies weren’t going to solve poverty because it did not want to raise low wages or benefits.

Sigh – MPs who just spew rhetoric, and ignore reality. This Government did raise benefits – the only one to do so in 43 years. And the minimum wage has risen significantly in real after tax terms.

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