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Working To Eliminate Child Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group

04 February 2005

Working To Eliminate Child Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has called on the government to behave like any responsible parent this election year and put children's interests first.

"Helen Clark's government deserves credit for last year's moves to support parents in employment with improved child care subsidies," said CPAG spokesperson Associate-Professor Mike O’Brien. “Now there is a further promise to follow the UK lead on this issue, but the government has only looked at some of the UK approach. Their child poverty solutions warrant much closer attention.”

Child poverty reduction in the UK is a policy goal in its own right. "CPAG challenges parties across the political spectrum to child-proof all their policies, to ensure no child is left worse off. But this, alone, is not enough. For every child to have a future in this country, substantial resources must be allocated to ending child poverty once and for all" said Assoc-Prof O’Brien.

"In practice, this means work policies must give priority to and support families' non work-related needs," he said. "Parents need to be able to have time with sick children, for example, without jeopardising either their job or their income.

“Improving the position of employed parents is important. So, too, is the position of children whose parents are not in paid work. It’s in the best interests of every citizen to put children first, and this means recognizing the substantial contribution parents already make to their children’s wellbeing.

“After all, parents provide a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week on-call service to the people who will comprise our social and economic future - and for love, rather than money. This essential, so often overlooked and undervalued contribution must be recognised and tangibly supported by us all".


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