Govt will have 'failed completely' if they don't reform benefits - Andrew Becroft

Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft says the Government will have "failed completely" if they don't index benefits to wages.

He made the comments on Newshub Nation this morning when asked about whether he thought the Government had done enough to protect vulnerable children in this year’s budget.  

"It's crucial. I'm not shrinking from that. Everybody in the sector has said we've got to link benefits for children to wages."

Matching benefits to wages, or 'indexing', will mean that benefit levels will rise at the same rate as wages in the same way that superannuation is adjusted to accommodate inflation.

The Commissioner says the failure to match benefits to wages is one of the key reasons New Zealand's child poverty rates have risen, even as the economy grows.

While Judge Becroft said some "other countries leave us behind" in social policies for children, he rated Labours latest Budget an eight out of 10, provided subsequent budgets continue to progress children’s policies.

Judge Becroft says he has been in talks with Government but hasn't been given any indication they will deliver on indexing benefits to wages.

However he says he remains hopeful that the change will come.

"I'm an optimist and I'm an advocate."

Newshub Nation.

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