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Response to poverty report a disgrace

Jacinda Ardern
Social Development Spokesperson

28 May 2013

Response to poverty report a disgrace

The Government’s response to recommendations made by the expert advisory group on solutions to child poverty is an absolute insult – not only to members of the group, but to every Kiwi family struggling to make ends meet, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“This group gave almost a year of its time, produced 24 working papers and gave 78 detailed recommendations. In response, the government has given it the brush-off.

“There are some 270,000 Kiwi kids living in income-deprived households. According to Paula Bennett the panacea to lifting them out of poverty is tax cuts and low floating mortgage rates.

“The expert group recommended healthy home WOFs for all rental housing, more work to tackle and mitigate poverty among Maori and Pasifika children, and provision of after-school opportunities for children living in poverty, among other things.

“The first step, it said, was to introduce specific measurements for child poverty, set short and long-term targets, establish various child poverty-related indicators and ensure the regular monitoring and reporting on results.

“This government has never shied away from setting targets in other areas. When it comes to child poverty it is obviously running scared, because none of those things have been addressed in this response.

“Instead it has decided to trial a few ideas - a warrant of fitness on housing but only for state rentals - and look at others, such as social lending.

“It has only touched on a handful of the 78 recommendations.

“The expert advisory group’s report provided the Government with very little excuse not to act.

“To ignore it shows that National is simply not interested in finding real and lasting solutions to this issue.”

ENDS

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