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Govt re-affirms commitment to end child poverty

14 June 2005

Government re-affirms commitment to end child poverty

Steve Maharey today re-affirmed the government's commitment to eliminating child poverty in New Zealand, saying the Working for Families package would lift thousands more children out of poverty by the time it was fully implemented in 2007.

Speaking to the Child Poverty Action Group in Auckland, the Social Development and Employment Minister said policies like income-related rents, low cost primary health care and a focus on jobs had led to a significant reduction in child poverty since 1999.

"This is a fantastic result and a far cry from the 1990s when child poverty peaked at 34 percent," Steve Maharey said. "But we know a great deal more can be achieved. That is why we are committed to seeing through the implementation of the $1.1 billion Working for Families package and other core policies that target child poverty."

A study released last week showed child poverty rates fell from 27 to 21 per cent in just three years to 2004.

Steve Maharey said the greatest impact on poverty was still ahead with the Working for Families package estimated to reduce child poverty levels by 30 percent by the time it is fully rolled out in 2007.

More information on poverty levels is available at http://www.msd.govt.nz/media-information/press-releases/2005/pr-2005-09-06.html

ENDS

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