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Social services receive good report card

9 December 2008 Media Statement

Social services receive good report card

Social services have received a positive report card in the Briefing for the Incoming Minister released today, Labour Social Development spokesperson Annette King said today.

“Many children have been lifted out of poverty and that is an achievement the last Labour Government takes enormous pride in.”

Ms King said that as the report points out, over the last decade an economic upswing, combined with effective policies and services, has delivered opportunities for many New Zealanders. Employment has increased, beneficiary numbers have reduced, household incomes have grown and poverty, especially child poverty, has reduced.

“It is significant the report points out that the proportion of children under 18 living in low income households has almost halved over the past fifteen years. The fall in poverty since 2004 has particularly benefited children and young people”

“But there is more work to be done to ensure that during these harsh economic times we don’t slip backwards,” Ms King said.

“The new Minister Paula Bennett now needs to tell New Zealand how she intends to further reduce child poverty:

1. Will her government commit to increasing funding for parenting programmes such as SKIP and Family Start?
2. What are her targets and deadlines for lifting more New Zealanders out of poverty?

“However, the capping the number of statehouses, ramming through a 90 day hire and fire bill and still no word on the details of a financial assistance package means families on low incomes have cause for concern as to what this governments real priorities are.

“Its time for New Zealanders to see the plan the National government has for ensuring their futures and providing help when they need it.”

“National have received a good platform to build on, lets hope they really do have a plan for the sake of our children.”

ends

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