Child poverty is no joke | The Jackal

20 Sep 2012

Child poverty is no joke

Yesterday, Green party co-leader Metiria Turei asked:

Will the Prime Minister show these kids that he cares about them and support my bill for a child payment for the 150,000 New Zealand children who, unlike his mates on “Planet Key”, do not get a holiday from poverty?

John Key replied:

I really take offence from the member when she says that we do not care about these young New Zealanders. This Government spends a huge amount of time, money, and energy focused on those young New Zealanders and on trying to give them help. If the member thinks that that will be resolved without giving them a decent education, because she does not support all the measures that this Government has taken to lift education standards, then she is dreaming. If the member thinks that that can be achieved by a universal payment, as I said to the member some time ago, she comes into this House and she bags this Government because she argues that we have people who are well off, and then she wants to give the same millionaires yet more money to raise their kids. She is barking mad if that is what she thinks.

This statement beggars belief... Key is saying that the 270,000 children who are currently impoverished have parents who are millionaires. WTF! If that was the case there wouldn't be a child poverty problem in New Zealand to begin with. I'm really starting to wonder if Key has gone completely bonkers... What other possible explanation could there be for such an insane statement?

Although he was made by the Speaker of the House to withdraw and apologize, this gives us an insight into just how condescending Key can be. His response is all the more disgusting because he answered such an important question with only arrogance and contempt.

If National actually cared about the many thousands of young New Zealanders who are growing up without proper housing, clothing or sustenance, they would support the Green Party Member's Bill (PDF) to replace the In Work Tax Credit with a child payment for all kids who need it. National won't because they simply don't understand the true cost to the economy or care about the suffering poverty causes. What a bunch of rich pricks!