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Details of Poverty Payments Announced

June 19, 2007

Yesterday, City officials announced details of a new program aimed at paying low-income families for performance on metrics like school exams, keeping a full-time job and having health insurance.

The Mexican model for the program, called Oportunidades, is intended to ease the economic difficulties associated with meeting such goals, which often require low-income earners to take time off work in order to apply for benefits or assist their children. The long-term goal of the program is to enhance the next generation of workers.

When it was initially announced, the Coalition Against Hunger expressed its support for such innovative thinking, but warned that a program focused only on bettering personal behavior would not be enough to help the 20% of New Yorkers living under the poverty line.

(Covered by CNN, the New York Times, New York Post and Daily News)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Daniel Millstone permalink
    June 19, 2007 6:36 pm

    While anything that puts money into the hands of lower income New Yorkers cannot be all bad, the incentive program for “better behavior” is, as I see it, a solution in search of a problem. Lower income NYers are extremely rule obedient; they have to be to get public assistance and other benefits. What poor people lack is money.

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