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Belligerence Not Helping Our Kids

Jacinda
ARDERN

Children’s Spokesperson

Social Development Spokesperson
11 April 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Belligerence Not Helping Our Kids

Paula Bennett’s excuses around why the Government will not set targets to reduce child poverty have gone from the ridiculous to the belligerent, Labour’s Social Development and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.

“In the past Ms Bennett has dismissed using internationally standard measures to monitor child poverty because she claimed having ‘children move in and out of poverty on a daily basis’ made doing so pointless.

“Today, in the House, Ms Bennett argued the Government had a plan to reduce child poverty, completely contradicting the Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills statement this morning that there was ‘still no overall commitment to protect the youngest and poorest’.

“Asked how well her ‘plan’ was working, Ms Bennett replied that it ‘depends on which measure one uses’.

“That would be all well in good, but when pushed on which measure she was using, she laughed off the question, saying the Government didn’t have one.”

“Paula Bennett might think running circular arguments in question time is hilarious. She would be the only one.

“New Zealand’s lack of child poverty measures was also raised by this week’s UNICEF report. It reveals that 29 other OECD countries have managed to do what Paula Bennett belligerently claims shouldn’t be done, and - in the case of Great Britain – rates of child poverty have fallen as a result.

“It would appear Ms Bennett is afraid of being held to account, and of having the success – or otherwise – of her policies compared with those of other countries.

“While the governments of other OECD nations are using the UNICEF report to inform policies, ours refuses to even accept there is a problem.

“Ms Bennett’s belligerence is hurting our most vulnerable kids. It's time the excuses stopped.”

labour.org.nz

ENDS

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