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Helping Hand for Children Gets Closer

Helping Hand for Children Gets Closer

About 12,000 orphaned or unsupported children living with family, often grandparents, are likely to receive a much needed clothing allowance, thanks to New Zealand First.

“For too long grandparents and other family looking after children have not had enough money to buy clothing and shoes for these children, yet the allowance was paid for foster children,” says Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Youth Affairs Tracey Martin.

“Finally, with New Zealand First’s Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill receiving unanimous support from Parliament’s Social Services Select committee, relief is in sight.

“The Bill means children who are being looked after by family will receive a clothing allowance of between $1000 and $1685, depending on age.

“Statistics are alarming, showing 40 per cent of carers have a total family income of less than $33,000 a year and many are women.

“Through the Bill we now recognise that the state’s support should be based on the circumstances of the child, not of the adult carer,” says Ms Martin.

“For a variety of reasons more and more children are being declared an orphan or an unsupported child by the state. We recognise that the majority of family carers providing their day-to-day needs are grandparents and they need support.

“I would like to thank all Members of Parliament, and those who made submissions to the select committee, for their complete support. The Bill will fix an anomaly in the law which has seen some vulnerable children going without.

“Continued support of this Bill will ensure equity for these children under the law,” says Ms Martin.


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