No child will live in poverty? Bob Hawke's promise

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No child will live in poverty? Bob Hawke's promise

Postby Squire » 04 Jun 2018, 18:15

We all remember this audacious promise by Bob Hawke. However, Bob Hawke failed on delivery while lining his own pockets with foreign, mostly Chinese, cash.

To be fair to Hawke, he did achieve some sustained alleviation of poverty without meeting his objective.

On the other hand, the Liberals don't give a toss about any sort of poverty apart from their own poverty of spirit and absence of empathy for the poor. Liberals fear more that undeserving people will get social service benefits and that such benefits evolve a level of cunning in those who seek to maximize their takings from social welfare.

So it appears this objective is not just elusive, but nobody wants to own it.

No child will live in poverty? 30 years on, Bob Hawke's promise remains an elusive goal
By Michael Koziol

It was a momentary mistake that stuck with Bob Hawke and became, when all was said and done, one of his most memorable lines.

"By 1990, no Australian child will be living in poverty," the then-prime minister told Labor's election campaign launch on June 23, 1987.

It's been 30 years since Bob Hawke promised no Australian child would live in poverty by 1990. A new report reveals just how far off that target we are.

It was a bold and unattainable declaration and, indeed, an error - the script said "no Australian child need live in poverty". Exactly thirty years on, it is a goal that still eludes us.

According to the most recent report by the Australian Council of Social Services, 17.4 per cent of children are living in poverty - that is, 731,000 children.

In the 10 years to 2014, the child poverty rate increased by 2 percentage points, in a period that included both the Howard and Rudd-Gillard governments.

Circumstances are much worse in single parent families, where 40 per cent of children live in relative poverty - up from 36.8 per cent in 2012.

"It shows that governments, since the Global Financial Crisis in particular, have set the wrong priorities both in social and economic terms," ACOSS head Cassandra Goldie said.

ACOSS defines poverty differently for different households: for a couple with children, it is deemed to be those on less than $720 a week after housing costs.

Despite recently breaking the world record for uninterrupted economic growth, Australia's overall poverty rate remains higher than the OECD average.

Ten years ago, Mr Hawke said he regretted his "silly, shorthand" remarks of 1987, and he "should have just said what was in the distributed speech".

But Dr Goldie believes he has nothing to regret.

"Some people laugh about the fact that it was the slip of the tongue. It wasn't," she says.

"What very few people remember is that through the policies he implemented at the time, he reduced child poverty by a full 30 per cent. We've had no PM do the same since."

Instead, says Dr Goldie, "we've had successive governments use social security as the place they go to find savings".

"The incidence of child poverty that we see today is overwhelmingly not because parents in 2017 care less about children than they have done in the past," she says.

"It's because our social protections for families, and particularly single parent families with children, have been hit by a further cut in almost every budget I can remember since I've been in this job."

On Thursday, the government introduced to Parliament its reforms to welfare announced in the May budget, including a controversial trial of drug testing for welfare recipients and rebranding the Newstart Allowance as a "JobSeeker Payment".

Dr Goldie said the refusal of major parties to boost Newstart - currently capped at $579.30 a fortnight for a single parent with children - was a major failure and entrenched poverty in Australia.

"I cannot understand why a prime minister - from the moment they wake up in the morning until they go to bed at night - [isn't] thinking about 'what can I do to make sure that every child has enough to eat and a safe roof over their head?'," she said. :mad
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Re: No child will live in poverty? Bob Hawke's promise

Postby johnsmith » 04 Jun 2018, 19:27

politicians should never make such absolute promises, especially about a subject that is out of their control. It serves no purpose other than to detract from their work

As a result of it, everyone now remembers the broken promise, and forgets just how much he did to help reduce child poverty
I hope that bitch who was running their brothels for them gets raped with a cactus.
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