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Anderton pledges to convene poverty summit

12 July 2002 media release

Jim Anderton, MP and candidate for Wigram

Anderton pledges to convene poverty summit


Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton has welcomed the call from the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Service for a summit on poverty.

And he is promising to convene it himself at Parliament if he is returned to government after the election.

“I agree with the Council that the issue of poverty has been shamefully ignored in this election. Poverty is not fashionable, but when 30 per cent of New Zealand children are living in poverty it is far more important than bashing immigrants, the Treaty or corn crops. The only conclusion I can draw is that National, Act and NZ First are in favour of poverty and most other parties are indifferent to it.

“No one should be under any illusion that the chaos created by the Green Party’s threats to destroy a new centre-left government will seriously set back the government’s anti-poverty policies.

“The Coalition Government is not indifferent to poverty, and the Progressive Coalition in government will push for urgent steps to reduce the level of child poverty.

"As the Public Health Association has pointed out today, ‘children who live in overcrowded housing are likely to develop respiratory problems, meningococcal disease and have worse asthma. Impoverished children, who don't eat healthy food, may develop heart problems later in life. Children who don't eat a good breakfast do not learn’,” Jim Anderton said

The Progressive Coalition has made an immediate inflation adjustment for family support a cornerstone commitment – meaning it will be a top priority for the party in a new Clark-Anderton Government.

It is also making a top priority of free doctors visits for all school children and a winter energy rebate for superannuitants, beneficiaries and low income earners to ensure that the most vulnerable New Zealanders can afford heating in the coldest months.

“Poverty has been reduced through the introduction of income-related rents, the reduction in unemployment and the creation of 104,000 new jobs over the last two years. We need to make more progress in a new government.

ENDS

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