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Child poverty must be eliminated

Child poverty must be eliminated

Jim Anderton MP, Leader of the Progressives will host the launch of the Child Poverty Action Group's document "Our children: The Priority for Policy" today at 12.30pm in the Beehive Theatrette.

"Children must be a priority for policy if we are to make the most of the future for all New Zealanders. The well being of our children inevitably affects the well being of our nation.

"Ignoring the needs of children incurs costs in the future from increased unemployment, poor health, mental health problems and low educational achievement. Child poverty must be eliminated if New Zealand is to reach it's full potential.

"Supporting families who are struggling to make ends meet is a good investment for everyone and especially for the children. It is clear children achieve more at school when they have good nutrition and secure homes. They then have greater opportunities in the future.

"While the government is making steady progress it is no secret that more needs to be done to improve the well being of struggling families.

"Policies to improve the well being of children, including an increase in family support, extending family start, providing free health care for under 18 year olds, building more state houses with income related rentals and four weeks annual leave would all alleviate some of the stress on families.

"Full employment in satisfying, well paid jobs is the cornerstone policy for the removal of poverty and this coalition government has made significant steps along that road, particularly for many of our most vulnerable citizens.

"I am committed to work towards the elimination of child poverty. It is in the interests of everyone to ensure no-one is left behind as we rebuild our nation's social and economic strength and well-being," Jim Anderton said.

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