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English misses the mark on truancy

English misses the mark on truancy

National's plan to penalise beneficiaries whose children play truant is totally ridiculous and discriminatory, Green MP Sue Bradford said today.

"This proposal treats beneficiaries as second-class citizens, by proposing to effectively fine only beneficiaries. Parents who work have children who wag school too," Ms Bradford said.

"Besides, this is not the way to deal with the truancy problem. Families with truancy issues often have housing problems. This has been proven in research.

"The state focus should not be on reducing the funds of people who have next-to-nothing anyway, but on providing adequate housing and income support for families in need," Ms Bradford said.

National Party leader Bill English yesterday foreshadowed the release of a party discussion paper on welfare, by outlining the truancy sanction plan.

"National seems to be going back to the 1990s with its policies," Ms Bradford said. "This is vintage Nats - picking on the poor while further fattening the wallets of the 'haves'."

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