Bill English says Govt poverty target 'makes no sense'

The AM Show 30/01/2018

National leader Bill English says the Government is not looking at the entire picture when it comes to poverty.

Details on the new Government’s child poverty reduction law will be released on Tuesday afternoon. It’s expected that PM Jacinda Ardern will release a bill to show how child poverty will be measured in order to set reduction targets.

But National leader Bill English says the new Government's approach "makes no sense" and only focuses on half the picture.

"We were proposing increasing some of the lowest incomes. The Government's gone ahead and done that and added a bit more to it,” he told The AM Show.

"But the other half of the story with poverty is the social dysfunction that traps people in it for a long time - long-term welfare dependency, child abuse, often ill-health, disability.”

The targets that were in place - the Government's abolished.

Ms Ardern told The AM Show on Monday that reporting on progress within the Budget “will shape the way that we look at child-wellbeing issues every time we write a Budget.”

Despite this, Mr English says the Government doesn't have any means to measure its progress.

"We think the Government should be accountable for spending our money to change lives.”

"We'll just be laying out how we're going to go about our job which is essentially to support those things the Government does that are good for New Zealand and to go after them and try and stop them doing really dumb things that are bad for New Zealand."

UNICEF chief executive Vivien Maidaborn told The AM Show she's encouraged by the Government's approach.

"You have to say that it's way better than any Government has done in the last two decades.”

Watch the full interview with Bill English above. 

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