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Government error hides true size of child poverty

27 February 2014

Government error hides true size of child poverty

The Government is continuing to fail our kids who are in poverty by not even measuring the size of the problem correctly, the Green Party said today.

The Government has today admitted that it got its calculations wrong when measuring child poverty and inequality. The new figures show that there are 285,000 children living in poverty, not 265,000 as previously claimed, and that the GINI inequality index is not improving.

“There is no reason that 285,000 children should be living in poverty in New Zealand. This Government has failed to even measure the problem correctly, let alone do anything to fix it,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

“National has been trumpeting its supposed progress on child poverty but it turns out that was all due to the Government doing its sums wrong. It’s not the first time that National’s numbers have turned out to be dodgy, and it makes you wonder what else they’ve got wrong.

“It’s past time for National to wake up to the tragedy of child poverty that is playing out in homes all across our country. Child poverty has gotten worse under National, rising from 240,000 in 2007 to 285,000 in 2012.

“There is no excuse for 285,000 kids to be living in poverty in a modern, wealthy country like New Zealand. Those 285,000 kids are victims of the choices that governments make – like National’s decision to borrow for tax cuts for the rich at the same time as cutting Working for Families payments.

“The Greens will do better for our kids. We will extend Working for Families, we will invest in nurses in schools, we will set standards for warm, healthy housing, and we will raise the minimum wage towards a living wage for all workers,” said Mrs Turei.

ENDS

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