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Poverty monitor reveals real story

Poverty monitor reveals real story

A landmark report which shows child poverty in New Zealand is now almost twice the rate it was in the 1980s is another critical call for action, and one the Government cannot ignore says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

The Child Poverty Monitor 2013, funded by the J R McKenzie Trust, in collaboration with Otago University, comes just days after a UNICEF report similarly criticised New Zealand’s failure to meet its obligations to children.

"The report publishes four measures of poverty, something the Children's Commissioners Expert Advisory Group recommended the Government do annually.

"Not only are the findings shameful, so is the fact that a charitable trust had to fund this project because the Government refused to do the job itself.

“Now that we have these statistics, Paula Bennett can no longer claim that they are addressing child poverty through things like welfare reform. Forty percent of children in poverty are living in a household where their parents are in work, but they aren't earning enough to get by.

“Nor can she claim her Vulnerable Children's Bill is the answer. That bill focusses on identifying abuse, so will not address the fact that 40,000 children have been hospitalized for preventable child poverty related illnesses.

"The fact that 3 out 5 of the children in poverty are likely to remain there through their most critical years of development is also a massive wake up call," says Jacinda Ardern

“Indifference isn’t an option any more. National has to make some real commitments to tackling a problem, a country as wealthy as New Zealand shouldn’t have.”

ends

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