Sunday, September 9, 2012

Universal child payment better than Working for Families - Gareth Morgan...

John Key dismisses the idea of a universal child payment as “dopey”
Last week the Children’s Commissioner released an “issues and options” report from an expert panel asked to investigate what can be done about child poverty. The panel included medical experts, economists, policy advisers, academics, business lobbyists, consultants and others.
One of the recommendations of the panel is to introduce a universal payment for each child up to the age of 6, the idea being to help parents find balance between paid work and caring for their kids in the most vulnerable years. Yeah, you’ve heard this idea before – here – they’re talking about a child version of the UBI. Or some of us are old enough to remember the Family Benefit – paid to mothers because of the fear fathers would our it down their gizzards at the local boozer.
What Key doesn’t seem to grasp, but the expert panel did, is that targeted systems are part of the poverty problem.
John Key was quick to add to the quality of the debate, quoted in the New Zealand Herald dismissing the idea as “dopey”, and instead endorsing the “very targeted system” delivered through Working for Families (WFF). It’s incredible together that a financial markets’ literate politician can endorse a benefit that has stellar effective marginal tax rates – around 100 cents in the dollar.

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