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Nats’ billion dollar bungle hid 20,000 kids in poverty

David PARKER

Spokesperson for Finance

27 February 2014                                              MEDIA STATEMENT

Nats’ billion dollar bungle hid 20,000 kids in poverty

A Government stuff-up overstated the incomes of 300,000 low income New Zealand households by thousands of dollars each and shows National's record on inequality and poverty is even worse than they have pretended, said Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.

“Treasury has now admitted that for three years the Government has double counted the accommodation supplement which inflated the incomes of low and middle income New Zealand households by thousands of dollars on average.

“Such a massive miscalculation has forced Government to admit that the number of Kiwi kids living in poverty is 20,000 more than National said it was.

“This is a billion dollar bungle - $1.2 billion to be precise. That is massive. The most concerning thing is that Bill English has known about this for three months but has kept it quiet.

“National has spent the past three years pretending that trickle-down economics is helping working Kiwis, while in fact income and wealth is even more concentrated amongst the top few per cent.

“Most Kiwis knew they weren’t getting ahead but now it turns out many more were falling behind.

“Bill English must apologise for this serious error,” says David Parker.

ENDS

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