At The Opportunities Party (TOP) we’re so glad the Greens are joining us in choosing to address child poverty with policy that is supported by high-quality scientific evidence.
Strong evidence shows that cash is what works best to help vulnerable families thrive. Families are most vulnerable to falling into poverty when their children are young. Living in poverty creates massive stress and this stress affects brain development. For parents it can lead to other problems like substance abuse and domestic violence. It is no wonder that kids living in poverty are more likely to be two years behind their peers when they start school.
The Greens want to include all families in paid parental leave whether they are in work when their child is born or not. We support this policy. There is no doubt it will help many vulnerable families.
But paid parental leave only lasts for 10 weeks. That is less than 3 months before the money runs out and mums have to start making hard choices about going back to work and finding decent child care. Half of families with children under 5 experience at least a year of poverty.
The Opportunities Party knows that New Zealand can do more. We know the first three years of a child’s life are the most important for their development. That’s why we will support parents for the whole three years with KiwiWage (or UBI), an unconditional basic income of $200 a week. After that, we will make sure all 3 and 4 year olds have access to free, full time, high quality early childhood education.
The Greens are doing good work, but they are still stuck in the mentality of tinkering within the current system. What we need is radical, yet rational, change. That is what TOP is offering.
You can find out more about our Thriving Families policy here: http://www.top.org.nz/top7.
Vote for Fairness.
For further comment please contact:
Dr. Jenny Condie
TOP Tax Policy Spokesperson
Ph: 021 0269 7818