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Action on incomes needed to address poverty

28 May 2013

Action on incomes needed to address poverty

The Government’s final response to recommendations made by the expert advisory group on solutions to child poverty is a cop out leaving the extensive work carried out by the Children’s Commission largely ignored, the Green Party said today

The Children's Commissioner's 'Solutions to Child Poverty' report called for action to improve family incomes to ensure all New Zealand children get a good start in life and can fulfil their potential.

“Ironically on the same day John Key announced a Food in Schools programme, Child Poverty Action Group headed to court seeking a declaration that the in-work tax credit is unjustified discrimination against the children of beneficiaries,” said Green Party children’s spokesperson Holly Walker.

"The in-work tax credit had lifted thousands of children out of poverty but hasn't helped the one in five children whose parents study or are on a benefit," Ms Walker said.

“The Government is discriminating against this group while simultaneously coming to the realisation that we have a responsibility for the children of these families to have food.

“The Children's Commissioner's expert report recommended a universal child payment as a key step towards ensuring all our children have the best possible start in life. The Government should listen to that recommendation.

"We support a universal child payment as the best and fairest way to ensure that all children, not just some, have the opportunity to have a good life, and a fair, bright and prosperous future.

“We will also instigate a national poverty measure and implement the recommendations of the Children's Commissioner so that the right information is collected in order to be able to tackle child poverty at its source.

"We've got all the evidence we need for comprehensive policy to end child poverty. What will it take to make the National Government wake up and do something to save a whole generation of children?”

ends

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