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Children Work To Supplement Family Earnings

Child Poverty Action Group
PO Box 56 150
Dominion Rd

25 January 2004

Children In Low Income Families Work To Supplement Family Earnings

Many school children experience unsupervised, dangerous or abusive work conditions, and need better protection, concludes a survey by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

CPAG congratulates Caritas for this research that makes visible contributions that many children make to family finances, often associated with risk to their safety.

The report demonstrates clearly that students in schools serving low-income communities are more likely to be working to supplement family income than those attending schools where families have mid - high incomes.

CPAG holds the government to its commitment to alleviate in the 2004 budget, the plight of low-income families struggling to make ends meet. A significant rise in family assistance is required so that all children can have a childhood free of adult risks and responsibilities.

Since 1986, the poorest one-child young family in New Zealand has had a rise of only $5 a week in Family Support. To take inflation into account, their Family Support should now be around $74 a week. Instead, it is only $47.

CPAG insists that the Child Tax Credit of $15 a week per child is made available to all low income families immediately, instead of going only to those who can show they are independent from the state. As well, the levels and thresholds of family support must be raised to catch up what’s been lost to inflation over the past 15 years

For more information:

Susan St John
Ph 09 3737599 x87432 s.stjohn@auckland.ac.nz

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