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Government punishes beneficiary babies

11 July 2014

Government punishes beneficiary babies

Papers released to the Green Party shows that the Government turned their back on babies of beneficiaries against official advice, said the Green Party today.

Documents released by Treasury to the Green Party under the Official Information Act show that officials were initially working on including babies of beneficiaries, in packages to help with newborns, in November 2013, but this disappeared by February 2014.

“The National Party’s so called ‘family budget’ excluded additional support to babies on the basis that their parents were out of work even though official papers said, ‘the children most at risk are those from beneficiary families’,” said said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“On Budget Day, the Green Party urgently drafted an amendment that would have extended benefits to the poorest babies in beneficiary households, but National, Act and United Future voted that down.

“Time and time again, National has chosen to punish the poorest and most vulnerable children in our society based on their parents’ work status.

“This is exactly why the number of children living in poverty has grown by 35,000 under this National Government, but yet they continue to ignore their plight against official advice.

“The decision to exclude the most vulnerable puts them at risk and will exacerbate child poverty in New Zealand.

“The growing child poverty issue is why the Green Party proposes targeted solutions that will help the most vulnerable children.

“Our School Hubs programme will provide children with a range of health, education and welfare services to lift them out of poverty.

“We also propose free GP visits for all children under 18 and will provide a school lunch fund for lower decile schools.

“The Green Party has a targeted and dedicated programme to help our children out of poverty,” said Mrs Turei.

ENDS

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