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Report again pulls Government up on child poverty

Report again pulls Government up on child poverty

A new report adds to the growing calls for action on child poverty, youth unemployment and the shortage of affordable housing, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“The Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report, ‘Striking a Better Balance’, shows once again that many New Zealanders are increasingly locked out from a fair and just society.

“The report shows signs of improvements in some social indicators but, while the top end of town and the privileged few continue to do well under the current Government, child poverty and the lack of affordable housing are ‘time-bomb’ issues for our country.

“The report repeats calls for action to address these matters, as well as rising living costs and the number of families struggling to pay their bills.

“Labour’s Best Start package is the first of a series of practical and affordable policies that will make a real difference to the fight against child poverty, by improving antenatal care, extending paid parental leave, making sure that families have additional financial support when they have a new baby, and by increasing the range and scope of early childhood education.

“All the experts agree that the first five years of a child’s life are critical to getting the best start.

“We have already taken steps to address the housing shortage with Kiwibuild. We will have range of proactive policies to create jobs and increase wages in our cities and our regions for young people and, along with ensuring that they have the educational opportunities to give them skills to contribute to building a better and more modern society, will ensure there is affordable healthcare when they get sick.

“The Government can’t afford to ignore this latest report. It is surely its last wake up call.”

ends

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