When the way you live, is the only way you know, it becomes the 'norm' and, it also becomes harder to travel a different path. Whyte fails to see that poverty is out there and, that if this issue is not pushed up the policy agenda and our disadvantaged children are not helped to reach their full potential child poverty or poverty in general, will increase. I would like to argue the point that Poverty does exist and to say there is no poverty is an understatement. Jamie Whyte's article (www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11570087 ). Poverty statistics suffer from paucity of common sense, leads me to believe that he has an ulterior motive being an Act leader and he also fails to see how the other half lives. He fails to find factual information to back his theory. I also question his Integrity. Has Whyte lived in a low-income household? Has he had to choose between food and doctors? Medical care and education are not free. No Poverty? I disagree. Poverty is out there.
Whyte sounds as if he would like to see poverty swept under the carpet. Out of sight out of mind. Who wouldn't want to believe a politician, an educated man? I would rather ask, why? Why would anyone believe him?
'misleading anyone who believes them'. Who is misleading who? Susan St John, who has experience with poverty claims 220,000 children live in poverty because they "fall under the stringent 50 per cent after-housing-costs poverty line". This is factual information no matter how inflated it looks.
Whyte is unable to come up with factual information showing his ignorance towards the issue of poverty, so uses fictional characters such as Jimmy and Timmy to draw in the readers. The only people who would believe him would be those who have also not experienced poverty first hand and who could afford to buy the Herald in the first place. He also has the audacity to self-Plagiarise his own work and say 'I just don't see a problem with it.' ( www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11570604 ).Being an Academic, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Philosophy 1988 ' 1991 University of Cambridge) Academic Integrity such as Plagiarism, Copyright etc would have been beaten into him. This leads me to believe that Whyte lacks Integrity and that the wellbeing of our children is a low priority. Whyte fails to see the reality in front of him.
'They receive free medical care', 'Who are they?' People with low income pay the same amount as anyone else for the doctor, even if it is subsidised. Yes, it is free for a child to see the doctor, but medication is not and neither is the transport to get there. When a child grows up in poverty they miss out on things most New Zealanders take for granted. Most are living in substandard, cold, damp, overcrowded houses, they do not have warm or waterproof clothing, their shoes are worn or not the right size, and many days they go hungry. It can mean not doing well at school, not getting a good job and having poor health. People in low-income situations tend to visit the doctors more often due to ongoing medical issues such as Asthma, pneumonia, cold and influenza. With the rise in the cost of living, this will without a doubt increase.
'Free education', When have you sent your child to school and not had to pay for anything? Books, uniforms, transport, educational trips, these are not free, and the so-called 'school donation', is optional but it is said that your child will be greatly disadvantaged if not paid. Once again a piece of important information that Whyte forgets to acknowledge. This becomes another obstacle for a low-income family to overcome. Food, education, rent, doctors? I know that as a mother I would put my child first even if it meant going without. Poverty is often a life-long sentence. It can mean lower levels of education and income and poorer health.
According to (www.unicef.org.nz), almost 295,000 New Zealand children spend their childhoods living in poverty. If there was no poverty then we would have no need for the Charitable organisations such as Unicef (www.unicef.org.nz) or The Salvation Army, (www.salvationarmy.org.nz). Who since 1883, have fought poverty in New Zealand through helping more than 120,000 families and individuals in need each year, Kids Can ( www.kidscan.org.nz ). have been providing food, clothing and basic healthcare to our disadvantaged children so they can be more engaged in their education and reach their full potential since 2005; or Variety, ( www.variety.org.nz ) they also help disadvantaged children reach their full potential. These are only a few organisations that help the underprivileged and poverty-stricken. With our economy (https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/prices-rise-fastest-pace-in-over-five-years-latest-inflation-figures-reveal ) the way it is, food, petrol and housing prices pushing the Consumers Price Index up by 2.2% in a year due to inflation this could also mean a rise in interest rates. This will affect low-income families and those with more debt (which are usually one and the same) the most. This is definitely guaranteed to increase poverty numbers.
Who would believe a man that lacks integrity who self-plagiarised his own work, a man that uses fictional characters as evidence to argue his point. Medical care and education are not free I would like to believe there was no poverty in New Zealand, but experience and first-hand knowledge helped me to understand that poverty is here and it is often a life-long sentence. It can mean lower levels of education and income and also poorer health. If we ignore the fact poverty exists and sweep it under the carpet we are to blame for the rising numbers. Therefore I say If you have not experienced poverty then how do you know there is No poverty the truth is out there. Poverty exists.
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