You might think that the idea of financial sanctions on the very poorest children in New Zealand because of their parents’ behaviour would be an anathema to anyone who cares about the welfare of children. Its cruel, at best, and downright dangerous at worst.
So when the Minister of Social Development decides that the income of some of the poorest children in New Zealand would be halved if their parents didn’t meet her new social obligations, the average person might expect she’d have done a bit of work to ensure that those kids would be all right.
Well, no. According to Paula Bennett, she has absolutely no idea how these kids are even going to survive. “I think living on the full DPB is hard, I don’t know how you can live on 50 per cent”, she said in the Herald yesterday. This is the same Minister who giggled uncontrollably in the House today when she pointed out that the Government doesn’t measure child poverty. She may find that hysterical, but personally, I don’t find that very funny at all.