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Budget must focus on kids

Jacinda Ardern
Children’s Spokesperson

14 May 2014

Budget must focus on kids

Improving New Zealand’s dreadful levels of child poverty must be the focus of tomorrow’s Budget, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“There are huge gaps in the support Kiwi parents get to give their kids the best start in life.

“While there have been numerous reports that the Government is planning to bump up the amount of paid parental leave or tinker with the parental tax credit it will have to pull some pretty bold policies out of the hat if it wants to make a real difference.

“PPL currently reaches just 40 per cent of New Zealand families.

“The parental tax credit is also limited both in the level of support it offers, and who it reaches. At $150 a week, paid over a period of eight weeks, it doesn’t go as far as it needs to, nor are some of our most vulnerable families eligible for it.

“Labour’s Best Start policy is about ensuring many families get an extra boost at the most critical time of their child’s life, with around 95 per cent of families eligible for the income support element of the package.

“A Labour government is also committed to reporting on progress on issues such as child poverty targets in each of its Budgets, as part of the Public Finance Act.

“Budgets should be about people, and they should be measured against how well they perform for our kids.

“Tomorrow is a great opportunity for the National Government to show it understands the problems New Zealand families are facing and do something for our kids.”

ENDS

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