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Charity begins at home - not in the Emirates


Charity begins at home - not in the Emirates

The Green Party has questioned the Government's priorities after it gifted nearly $34 million to an elitist sport at the same time as a third of all New Zealand children live in poverty.

Sue Bradford MP, the Green Party Social Services spokesperson, said the Government's arguments about tourism and trade mean little to families struggling on the breadline.

"Instead of waiting until April to introduce the budget's family assistance package, the Government has clearly shown it has the resources to introduce it now," said Ms Bradford.

"With one third of New Zealand families living in poverty it's appalling that the Government's priority is for underwriting a rich-persons' sport at the expense of offering immediate relief for struggling families.

"The Government has indulged in voodoo economics by thinking that rich yachties can provide economic stimulus for New Zealand - yet keeping our children out of poverty, out of hospital and away from a life of desperate measures won't.

"Thirty-four million dollars among struggling families might only average out to a daily latte for a well-heeled yachtie but the reality is that many families are forced to feed their children on less money each day."

Ms Bradford has a colourful history with the America's Cup. In the 1990s National Government's first term, one in which social spending was cruelly slashed, Ms Bradford occupied Michael Fay's front lawn to protest the Government's gift of one million dollars to his personal America's Cup crusade.

"Giving money to a elitist sport is never appropriate as long as any New Zealand children are growing up in poverty," she said.

Ms Bradford will be voicing her concerns about the Government's America's Cup spending and misplaced priorities during her budget speech in Parliament this afternoon.

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