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Small steps go a long way for children

2 June 2002
Small steps go a long way for children

Green MPs Sue Bradford and Sue Kedgley today launched the new children's policy at the Auckland conference, with a pledge that the party will work to end child poverty by 2010.

The policy includes a universal child benefit of $15 per week for the first child and $10 per week for all other children to be paid to all families.

Children's Issues spokesperson Sue Bradford said while money alone cannot guarantee a happy childhood, many children were left without hope or support after a childhood spent in poverty or violence.

"The proposed rate of payment is small, but it would make a real difference to the lives of children, especially in low income households."

Green Party Women's Affairs spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the Green Party want to introduce new legislation, similar to that in the UK, to give parents the right to have more flexible working hours, and take time out when children are sick.

The party also wants to investigate tax incentives for employers who provide preschool facilities for their employees children.

"Parents in the workforce face a daily struggle trying to balance work and family life, and that struggle will continue until we have a cultural revolution in our workplaces," said Ms Kedgley.

Other policy highlights are:

* Extend paid parental leave to 14 weeks for all mothers in the workforce (including self-employed)

* Introduce a tax-free threshold at the bottom of the income tax scale

* Outlaw use of physical force in disciplining children (repeal section 59)

* Set 30km/h speed limits near schools and parks

* Reduce violence on television and move towards ad-free children's television

* Introduce nutrition campaigns on TV and in schools

* Reduce asthma by cleaning up car pollution and improving housing


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