Restore Aid for Struggling Families
On May 16, 2016, Star-Ledger Guest Columnist Raymond Castro writes “Forget tax cuts for NJ’s rich. Restore aid to struggling families.”
Castro is a senior Policy analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective.
“Six years into the (economic) recovery, poverty is still the highest it has been in New Jersey in 50 years and what’s called “deep child poverty” – kids living in households earning less than $10,000 a year for a family of three – has continued to increase by a whopping 26 percent.” New Jersey families do not get the basis assistance they need. Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) has failed to keep up with the cost of living.”
“In 1989 the grant could at least cover nearly three quarters of the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Now, it has eroded to where it covers about a third. That means most TANF families can’t pay their rent, forcing many of them into shelters and ramshackle motels at far greater public expense, not to mention the trauma for children who lack stable homes.”
Castro urges New Jersey to join other states that have increased their TANF support.
He points to Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto’s effort to help the poorest of New Jersey’s families. Prieto’s and Sen. Joseph Vitale’s have introduced a bill that would increase TANF assistance by 30% over the next three years.
“To create a state that works for all of us, New Jersey must redirect its policy priorities, away from lucrative tax breaks to corporations and the rich and towards struggling families who only want a fair shot. Creating equal opportunity for all is the key to prosperity.”