According to recent data from the Children's Commissioner, 25% of kiwi kids live in poverty. That poverty rate costs us as a society: in crime, in lost economic potential, and in increased health and future welfare costs. How much? Nearly $9 billion a year:
Independent researcher John Pearce, who spent two years studying child poverty in New Zealand, said around 200,000 of our children grow up in poverty. This can mean in poor and often crowded housing, lacking sufficient food, and having inadequate health care. Most importantly, growing up in poverty can affect children’s early learning, and long term educational outcomes.Meanwhile, John Key thinks its "dopey" to spend money to reduce those costs. I don't think so. What's "dopey" is to keep on paying them. Reducing child poverty isn't a cost, its an investment. And it speaks volumes that National isn't willing to make that investment in this country and its people, preferring instead to hand out money to their rich mates.
Mr Pearce said, “No one disputes child poverty is an important and difficult problem, but so far no one has added up the national economic cost of our current policies on child poverty.”
Mr Pearce estimated what child poverty costs the country each year in four key areas: poor education and its impact on productivity ($2.2 billion), health ($3-$4.5 billion), crime ($2.2 billion) and social welfare ($1.4 billion). Combined, these figures put the cost of child poverty at around $8-$10 billion annually, approximately 4.5 percent of our GDP.