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Greens Aim To Push Labour Further On Children

13 June 2002

Green Social Services Spokesperson Sue Bradford today said the Green Party's policy on children, launched earlier this month, would add substantial value to Labour's policy which was launched today.

"The Greens have identified the wellbeing of our children as a key area in which New Zealand must do better and we have launched a detailed plan on how we see Government doing that," said Ms Bradford.

"The Greens will be campaigning hard on doing much better for our children and we are delighted that Labour appear to share that vision. A strong Green presence in the next Government will substantially strengthen Labour's policy in this area and drag them further than what is in today's announcement."

Ms Bradford said together the Greens and Labour could do a great deal to improve the conditions and opportunities for New Zealand kids.

"Labour are saying they want to do more research into child poverty. The Greens want to see more money in the pockets of New Zealand families and we have strong and detailed policy to do this," said Ms Bradford.

"While we support the thrust of Labour's policy we are concerned at the lack of detail. For example everybody is concerned at child poverty, but the Greens are calling for the immediate introduction of a Universal Child Benefit at $15 for the first child and $10 for every following child.

"Again we challenge the Labour Party to support this.

"Labour say they want to reduce violence in children's lives so we challenge them to support Green policy and repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act that allows parents to use physical violence to punish children."

Ms Bradford said a complete overhaul of the benefit system was needed to iron out a number of outdated inequities which disadvantaged children.

"We are pleased that Labour have joined the Greens in deciding to make our children a key election issue. We want to see some policy detail but we are pleased we are both heading in the same direction.

"Together just think what we could achieve."


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