Opinion: Single parents struggle to move families out of poverty

Stuff co.nz 4 June 2016
Family First Comment: Someone who actually read the report BEFORE commenting:
“I got obsessive. I read the whole document from start to finish. Then I read what the critics had to say. Then I researched the research related to the criticisms. Then I read other reports about poverty in New Zealand. And I have come to an astonishing conclusion; they’re right. Family structure is the elephant in the room when it comes to the causes of poverty.” 

The laundry was piling up, and the dishwasher hadn’t been emptied. But I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t watching the NBA semi-final that featured our hairy, 7-foot lad. I’m talking about Family First’s Child Poverty and Family Structure report by Lindsay Mitchell.

I got obsessive. I read the whole document from start to finish. Then I read what the critics had to say. Then I researched the research related to the criticisms. Then I read other reports about poverty in New Zealand.

And I have come to an astonishing conclusion; they’re right. Family structure is the elephant in the room when it comes to the causes of poverty.  Also, I obviously have too much time on my hands.

But back to Family First and the endless parade of papers from the MSD or SuperU or The Treasury relating to poverty.

All of them talk about the same “risk factors”; like unemployment, being Maori or Pacifica, and renting a home. They all also mention being a sole parent. Strangely, trying to support strong, healthy relationships doesn’t come up later among the policy suggestions.
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/80677947/opinion-single-parents-struggle-to-move-families-out-of-poverty

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