Poor people should not have children


Families who can’t afford children shouldn’t be having them, says the ACT Party’s new deputy leader, Beth Houlbrooke.

And her leader, David Seymour agrees with her, saying  too many children were being born into poverty.

The Spinoff (an online magazine) followed up on this story by posting a list of 25 people ACT thinks should not have been born.

Houlbrooke was reacting to the announcement of the Labour Party’s $60-a-week baby bonus policy.

On her Facebook page she said Labour’s policy of paying people to have babies encourages them to grow their families when they’re not properly mature or financially prepared.

Her post generated a vitriolic response. Police are making enquiries after she received a message saying she needed “the bashing or a bullet”

Houlbrooke declined to confirm whether the complaint had been laid by her, citing ACT health and safety policies.

She said she’d had no contact with police and that the message in question was the only negative response directed at her.

Speaking RNZ’s Morning Report, Houlbrooke clarified her position.

“It’s not to say people on low incomes can’t have children.

“Plenty of them make a very good fist of it.

“And they do that because they’ve got prospects and a plan.”

That included being in a stable relationship or having strong family connections and stable housing.

She said ACT believed giving handouts increased dependency, so it was not fixing the root of the problem.

“What happens when the handout runs out after three years is you still have a child living in a family who cannot afford to meet its needs.”

In her own case, she put off having children until she could afford it, at the age of 27.

“I have many friends who have put off having children until their late 30s, early 40s and they’ve done it successfully,” she said.

“There’s no rush to have children at an early age.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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