Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paula Bennett giggles at child poverty

Paula Bennett, the Minister of Social Development, giggles at child poverty. Don't believe me? Watch the video [from 5:28]:

Asked how the government knows it is reducing child poverty, she says that it depends on how it is measured. Asked how it is measured, she is eventually forced to confess that it is not - something she finds hilariously funny.

But its not funny. Child poverty is a blight on our society, which ruins lives, both those of children and of the adults they grow up into. Its immediate and ongoign effects are estimated to cost us $8.8 billion a year. And (and this cannot be stressed enough) it is entirely a matter of government choice.

Our government chooses to have 270,000 kids grow up in poverty. It chooses to waste their lives, and inflict on the rest of us the social cost of doing so. And it finds that funny.

The Children's Commissioner is right: the government needs a plan, and it needs measures and targets, so we can hold them accountable for their performance in this area. And then we'll see who's fucking laughing.