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New fridge won’t help feed hungry kids

17 May 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

New fridge won’t help feed hungry kids

That the Government can find $40 million to help fund private schools but won’t spend just a third of that to feed hungry kids is nothing short of obscene, Labour's spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern, says.

“This budget was hyped by the Government as being one that might finally address child poverty.

“It doesn’t. Instead it offers repayable grants to buy shiny - empty - fridges for some ‘lucky’ New Zealanders and sets others on an even harder road ahead.

"The Government built an expectation that it would finally act on the overwhelming evidence that having 270,000 Kiwi kids living in poverty is coming at a cost to all of us.

“But no. Its brave new thinking turns out to be a promise to investigate a couple of ideas to maybe doing something, eventually.

“To suggest it is helping the most vulnerable is hogwash.

“It is winding up a home insulating project, leaving critical advice services with a funding shortfall, piloting social lending when we already have a pilot but need a national service, and trialling WOFs for state houses when 80 per cent of kids in poverty don't even live in a state house.

“Purchasing white-ware so beneficiaries are buying new, rather than poor quality, second-hand appliances is a positive measure, but what good is having a shiny new fridge you can't afford to fill, or a washing machine you can't afford to run?

“The fact this Government is prepared to pump $40 million into private education, while at the same time ignoring calls for food in schools is evidence of where its priorities lie.

“We needed this budget to set out a clear plan for child poverty - including setting targets to reduce it. Unfortunately this government has, once again, shown it’s not up to the challenge.”
ends

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