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Struggling families need action on poverty

Struggling families need action on poverty –

Robson renews call for Poverty Summit

While the government is making progress in addressing poverty today's report on New Zealand's living standards, showing one in five are facing hardship, is cause for concern says Progressive MP, Matt Robson.

"Too many families are struggling to make ends meet in New Zealand. My tour of Northland in the last few days has driven it home to me that while our economy is doing well, the disparities between rich and poor still exist and must be addressed.

"There needs to be a comprehensive approach to poverty. While strengthening the economy we must equally work to improve living standards for those worst off. That means not only addressing the degradation of family support, but also improving housing, health and education levels.

"We must prioritise the revenue from economic growth towards urgent social needs. It is clear to me that while poverty exists our economy will never be able to reach its full potential, so it is in everyone's interests to address poverty.

"A Poverty Summit of community and academic experts with government and business must be called together soon to work out a long term plan for the elimination of poverty. I am calling for a ten year plan to eliminate poverty along with action towards this in every budget, including the 2003 budget.

"I look forward to working with my Labour colleagues, community organisations, business, Maori and Pacific Island groups and unions to find solutions and ways to alleviate the worst problems and work towards eliminating poverty", Matt Robson said today.

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