The PM announced:
“The Bill is the framework for measuring and targeting child poverty. It sets in law four primary and six supplementary measures of poverty and material hardship. It requires the government of the day to then set targets to reduce child poverty.
This is a typical Ardern bill – full of nice sounding intentions but devoid of useful content.
First of all the Government already reports on various measures of poverty and material hardship. MSD publish this annually and the latest one is here. So the first aspect is compelling the Government to do something it already does.
The second aspect is having ten different measures is a fudge. The more measures you have, the less important they become.
The third aspect of setting targets is akin to their climate change policy. What matters is not the targets you set, but the policies you have to achieve them.
Labour is big on redistributing income – making people pay more tax and paying more in welfare. But they are very shy about treating the causes of poverty such as benefit dependent households, kids leaving school with no educational achievement etc.
Basically this bill is about putting pressure on future governments to put up taxes on people earning the average income and above, and paying more in welfare to people earning less.