Child poverty rates unknown as targets about to become law

NZ Herald 1 November 2018
Family First Comment: Family First director Bob McCoskrie, who revealed the ministry’s decision not to publish the latest statistics today, said the statistical uncertainty made the targets “meaningless”. “We are trying to solve a problem that we are struggling to define,” he said. “If we can’t identify the actual issue with accuracy and certainty, then it makes it very difficult to determine solutions to a problem when you can’t actually specify it.”

Child poverty rates for the past two years have been wiped because of a survey mishap, just as targets for reducing the rates are about to become law.

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has decided not to publish child poverty rates for 2016 or 2017, saying there appear to have been unusually low response rates by low-income households with children which have skewed the results.

The decision comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s signature Child Poverty Reduction Bill, which requires the Government to set targets to reduce the child poverty rate, passed its second reading in Parliament today.

The bill has been endorsed by the National Party, making it certain to pass into law.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie, who revealed the ministry’s decision not to publish the latest statistics today, said the statistical uncertainty made the targets “meaningless”.

“We are trying to solve a problem that we are struggling to define,” he said.

“If we can’t identify the actual issue with accuracy and certainty, then it makes it very difficult to determine solutions to a problem when you can’t actually specify it.”
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12152641

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