Dec 8, 2021 • 15M

When low debt trumps reducing child poverty

Welfare stock-take shows Labour chose debt reduction over helping poor families with more cash last Christmas; and is continuing to ignore its own advisory group's pleas for reforms & more cash

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Bernard Hickey and friends explore the political economy together.
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TLDR & TLDL: The Labour Government has decided repeatedly during the last 18 months of Covid stress to prioritise debt reduction, lower interest rates and giving $20b of cash handouts to businesses over reducing child poverty by increasing cash support to poor families, as recommended by its own welfare advisory group.

This Labour Government chose during a period of intense Covid stress on poor families to concentrate its extra cash payouts to businesses, no questions asked. Photo: Andre Hunter/Unsplash.

A report out today shows the Government’s failure to enact that group’s recommendations has cost some poor families up to $38,900 in support over the nearly three years since it received those recommendations. All because the Government accepted Treasury advice it needed to reduce debt, in order to keep interest rates low, which supported asset prices. (Read the full detail and analysis in the report below the paywall fold. Full subscribers can listen to my interview with the report’s author in the podcast above. Subscribe to a special offer here before Christmas to join The Kākā community and support my journalism on housing affordability, child poverty and climate change.)

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