Published: 9 September 2014
Authors: Dale, M. C., O’Brien, M., & St John, S
Our children, our choice: Priorities for policy
In the advanced economy of Aotearoa New Zealand in 2014, child poverty is now more entrenched and difficult to address than when Child Poverty Action Group published Left further behind in 2011. Since then, the long recession after the global financial crisis has seen many families losing their employment, or managing on reduced work hours, and depleting their remaining resources. The situation for families in receipt of a benefit has worsened with the imposition of sanctions reducing benefit incomes by 50% or more if strict and often unreasonable requirements are not met. The full benefits of the ‘Working for Families’ (WFF) package are still only available to those families who meet a work-test and are not on any benefit, thus widening the gap between families ‘in work’ and others, between those seen as ‘deserving’ and the ‘undeserving'.
While this focus on housing shows that the issues are complex, the principal barrier to access to quality housing is the high price of housing compared to wages.