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ACT's Alternative Plan To Fight Poverty

ACT's Alternative Plan To Fight Poverty

Recommendations from the Child Poverty Action Group to ease child poverty will not work, and will only serve to lower New Zealand's standard of living, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The only way to eradicate child poverty - indeed, all poverty in New Zealand - is to raise our standard of living into the top half of the OECD, so that working families are better off, and families on welfare have better job prospects," Dr Newman said.

"The action group's plan, to raise the basic benefit level, will take such a huge tax hike that it would cause New Zealand's living standards to slide. As a result, child poverty would increase, not fall.

"If the Government were really committed to fighting child poverty, it would immediately lower tax rates to ease the financial strain on working families, as well as creating jobs and growth.

"Secondly, it would light a bonfire under the red tape and compliance costs that hold back small business. This would increase productivity and profitability, again creating jobs and growth.

"Raising benefits is a short-term solution which is simply not sustainable. Indeed, it would make the problem of child poverty worse. ACT believes that the long-term strategies of lower taxes, fewer compliance costs and welfare reform - ensuring that those who can work, do work - are the only way to ensure that living standards increase, improving the lives of all New Zealand children," Dr Newman said.

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