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Every Child Counts shocked by John Key

19 August 2005

Media statement
For immediate use


Every Child Counts shocked by John Key’s lack of understanding

Every Child Counts expressed shock today at the reported comments of John Key, National’s finance spokesperson on yesterday’s Checkpoint radio programme.
Mr Key suggested it was a good thing for parents to miss their children’s Saturday sport in order to earn a little extra cash.

“There are two things wrong with Mr Key’s statement,” said Murray Edridge, spokesperson for Every Child Counts.

“First, parents’ participation in their children’s Saturday sport is integral to building quality family life. And that is essential in giving every child a good start in life. It is dismaying to see children marginalised in this way by a potentially very influential minister of the crown.

“Second, if he bothered to read the Unicef report on child poverty in the developed world he would know that those countries that have least child poverty have achieved that through government income support packages. The developed countries with the highest rates of child poverty, most notably the USA, the richest country in the world, pursue policies such as Mr Key seems to be espousing.

“I urge Mr Key to give greater prominence to the place of children in developing a sustainable economic strategy,” concluded Murray Edridge.

Every Child Counts is a coalition including Barnardos, Plunket, Save the Children, Unicef NZ and AUT’s Institute of Public Policy, supported by more than 335 other organisations and thousands of individual supporters. It will be providing informed comment, sometimes critical, throughout the election campaign, identifying sensible or poor policy proposals from any political party from a children’s perspective.

The public are invited to demonstrate their support for the nation’s children by adding their names to the Every Child Counts campaign at: www.everychildcounts.org.nz

ENDS

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