Prioritise child welfare

LETTER

I was disappointed, but not surprised, at an article in The Herald this week regarding our very poor ranking of 34th out of 41 countries in youth well-being.

Thirty percent of Kiwi parents are performing badly and 10 percent are doing very badly.

Child poverty is not hard to measure. We see examples every day on our streets and, if we had the will, we could fix the problem.

Clearly this is sometimes because the parents have other priorities for their spending. However, even if we shamed those responsible, I feel fairly sure the offenders would just shrug their shoulders and blame something or someone else.

The quoted statistics reflect very badly on a country that currently boasts a strong economy and is looked upon as a Utopia, desired by countless people living in areas of conflict and pitiful conditions.

I see displaced children on television in places such as Syria and my heart aches. And here we are, in a land of milk and honey, performing at an unacceptable level.

We need to sort out what factors are contributing to the disgusting result we now have before we can begin to solve this. Perhaps our children’s commissioner can supply us with this information.

Maybe our government could help those whose financial stresses are to blame, or partly to blame, for the problem.

Instead of paying lip-service by such moves as altering our tax brackets, why not make the first $10,000 of everyone’s income tax-free. This move would surely give greater help to those in need.

It probably won’t happen, knowing our Government’s fixation with being more generous towards the wealthy, but I do think it’s a damn good idea.

Mike Mulrooney

I was disappointed, but not surprised, at an article in The Herald this week regarding our very poor ranking of 34th out of 41 countries in youth well-being.

Thirty percent of Kiwi parents are performing badly and 10 percent are doing very badly.

Child poverty is not hard to measure. We see examples every day on our streets and, if we had the will, we could fix the problem.

Clearly this is sometimes because the parents have other priorities for their spending. However, even if we shamed those responsible, I feel fairly sure the offenders would just shrug their shoulders and blame something or someone else.

The quoted statistics reflect very badly on a country that currently boasts a strong economy and is looked upon as a Utopia, desired by countless people living in areas of conflict and pitiful conditions.

I see displaced children on television in places such as Syria and my heart aches. And here we are, in a land of milk and honey, performing at an unacceptable level.

We need to sort out what factors are contributing to the disgusting result we now have before we can begin to solve this. Perhaps our children’s commissioner can supply us with this information.

Maybe our government could help those whose financial stresses are to blame, or partly to blame, for the problem.

Instead of paying lip-service by such moves as altering our tax brackets, why not make the first $10,000 of everyone’s income tax-free. This move would surely give greater help to those in need.

It probably won’t happen, knowing our Government’s fixation with being more generous towards the wealthy, but I do think it’s a damn good idea.

Mike Mulrooney

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