Assessing The Progress On Poverty Reduction

Assessing The Progress On Poverty Reduction (pdf)
01 Jan 2003
Assessing The Progress On Poverty Reduction (doc)
01 Jan 2003

This paper presents the summary results of the New Zealand Poverty Measurement Project's analysis of the incidence and severity of poverty during the 1990s, and assesses the impact of five social and economic policies introduced by the Labour-led coalition governments since 1999: New Zealand superannuation, income-related rents on state houses, active labour market policies that promote an employment-rich economy and reduce unemployment, the Primary Health Care Strategy and the planned income support policy to reduce child poverty. Superannuation is assessed as both adequate and sustainable, rents for state houses are found to be affordable, and GDP growth and employment have increased incrementally as unemployment and benefit numbers have decreased. The Primary Health Care Strategy is seen as an innovative initiative that will increase affordable access to general practitioners, but it and the proposed child support initiatives are too new to be adequately assessed. Of the challenges that remain, policy priorities should centre on housing alternatives, including home ownership for low-income households not in state houses; income support for poor households, particularly those with children; and multi-sector development of education and training aimed at lifting economic and social capacity.

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