The Left thinks the solution to poverty is giving the poor more money because poverty is caused by the poor not having enough money.
Labour MP Jacinda Ardern introduced the exception in an op-ed in the Sunday Star Times. People are poor because they do not have enough money unless that is because of a lack of money because you are not married or not living with the father of the child.
Ardern was raging against a report by Lindsey Mitchell arguing that a major driver of child poverty is the breakdown of the family and the rise of single parent households. Ardern said that
I’ve spent the better part of six years reading and researching the issue of child poverty, and what we need to do to resolve this complex problem in New Zealand.
And yet here it was, the silver bullet we have all been looking for. Marriage. Getting hitched. Tying the knot. It turns out that we didn’t need an Expert Advisory Group on child poverty, or any OECD analysis for that matter – apparently all we really need is a pastor and a party
Ardern preferred to attribute the increase in child poverty to welfare benefit cuts in the early 1990s.
There is an exception within this exception for the living wage as Ardern says
But the other factors Family First was so quick to dismiss – low wages and staggering housing costs – mean we have 305,000 children in poverty. And this is the stuff that needs to change. It’s time we faced reality.
A living wage increase can solved family poverty. Actually getting a job and earning a wage does not reduce poverty among single-parent households but living wage increases do for families.
You cannot have it both ways. That low wages cause family poverty but no wages does not.
The best solution to child poverty is to move their parents into a job. Simon Chapple is quite clear in his book last year with Jonathan Boston that.
Sustained full-time employment of sole parents and the fulltime and part-time employment of two parents, even at low wages, are sufficient to pull the majority of children above most poverty lines, given the various existing tax credits and family supports.