The truth about families and child poverty

NBR 3 June 2016
Family First Comment: A summary of the superb research and report done for us by Lindsay Mitchell which upset so many on the Left. 🙂
On the back of last week’s budget, opposition politicians, academics and other advocates  again expressed outrage at the incidence of child poverty. The culprits routinely blamed are unemployment, high housing costs and insufficient benefit payments.
But there is another factor – probably the most important – that is constantly overlooked. That is the rapid change in family structure.
In 1961, New Zealand experienced peak fertility. The average number of births per woman was 4.3. There were more babies born that year than ever before or ever since.
Today mothers are having only two children on average; they are better educated; their employment rates are far higher than previously and they are having their children later. All of this should point to less child poverty.
Yet the reverse is true. There is now far more relative child poverty than there was in the 1960s, when only 5% of families with children were in the two lowest incomes bands compared with 25% today.



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