John Minto has published another scathing opinion piece about the Labour Government's treatment of the poor in New Zealand. He says that Labour's response to the underclass debate has been 'an embarrassment', and asks 'where are Labour's policies to eliminate poverty?' but concluding that the party 'doesn't have the policies or the will to make real changes'.
Amongst other statistics to prove the extent of poverty in NZ, Minto points to the fact that 41% of Pacific Island children go to school in NZ without breakfast. Therefore:
Labour's tenure in government is a disgrace. The very Pacific people who so loyally and consistently vote Labour are the very ones slapped in the face by a party which puts the free-market at the centre of the economy instead of working New Zealanders and their families.
Minto suggests that Labour's policies amount to 'corporate welfare', and notes that under Labour business profits have gone up 54%, while the 'average wage increased by just 20.5% - and, in real terms, has decreased by 20% in 20 years'.
Labour is also called to account for Working for Families, which is not nearly as progressive as Labour makes out (especially since it only really helps those in stable employment) rather than low employment):
Working for Families is, in reality, a state subsidy for businesses that pay poverty wages. Both Labour and National prefer to subsidise wage levels with government funding rather than pressure companies to convert high profits to wage increases. And Labour's next move is to reduce company tax ... the low-paid come a distant last.