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Greens Welcome Child Poverty Initiative

Green Party Children's Issues spokesperson, Sue Bradford, has welcomed news that Labour is to follow the Greens and release policy this week aimed specifically at eliminating child poverty.

"I am delighted Labour has chosen to follow our Every Child Matters policy, which we announced last week at our annual conference," said Sue Bradford. "This is an issue that transcends party politics and we hope Labour will have picked up many of the ideas outlined in our policy."

Key elements included in the Green Party's 6-page policy document are:

* A commitment to end child poverty by 2010;

* A universal child benefit of $15 per week for the first child and $10 per week for all other children;

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

* Outlaw the use of physical force in disciplining children;

* Set 30 km/hour speed limits around schools and parks;

* Reduce violence and advertising on television.

"We don't have a monopoly on good ideas," said Sue Bradford. "We're open to any serious proposals from Labour that will help eliminate child poverty and we would look forward to working closely with Labour to see them implemented as soon as possible.

"After all, the money's there to really do something about child poverty. In the recent budget, Treasury forecast a surplus of $2.6 billion for the year ended June 2002. If the policies are there and the political support is there and the money is there, then isn't it a crime to allow child poverty to exist in this country for a day longer?"


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