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Child Poverty Action Report Welcomed

Child Poverty Action Report Welcomed

- Maharey Fudges on Families and Education -

QPEC welcomes the Child Poverty Action Group’s report which outlines the minimal changes which the government’s 2004 budget package will bring for many families.

When the budget was announced in May we welcomed the assistance package for low and middle income families as the most important budget contribution to education because there is a clear link between education achievement and household income.

If families can raise their focus from day by day survival then they will be able to look ahead. Their children and their children’s education will benefit significantly.

However, once the smoke and spin has cleared from the government’s package, it is clear as CPAG reports, that as many as 175,000 New Zealand children will remain living in poverty even after the package is implemented.

The education of this generation of children remains imperilled. This is unacceptable.

With record budget surpluses the package is a savage comment on the Labour government’s priorities as it manages rather than organises the New Zealand economy.

The response of the Minister of Social Development is deeply disheartening. The Minister has demeaned himself and his office. Rather than attack CPAG the Minister should welcome the report as a reflection of the urgent action needed to bring all children and their families into the warmth of a caring society and their educational future.

The 175,000 living in poverty remain a litmus test for government policy. After 5 years the Labour government continues to fail the test.

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