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Group claims human rights protection

Friday 11 July 2008

Group claims human rights protection from child poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's groundbreaking legal case against the government's In Work Tax Credit wraps up next week. The group says the case offers the government the chance to cement New Zealand's long-standing reputation as a world leader in human rights issues.

CPAG has brought a case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal alleging the IWTC discriminates on the ground of family employment status.

The group says that government investment in family incomes provided by the tax credit through the Working for Families package has been substantial and welcome.

But, they state, it is also highly discriminatory. About 200,000 of the country's poorest children miss out on a much-needed $60 per week.

They have also argued the payment flies in the face of New Zealand's obligations under international conventions and human rights legislation.

The Tribunal has heard that by attempting to combine poverty reduction and work incentives, WFF fails to achieve either.

CPAG says that the tax credit is clearly intended to cover the costs of raising children, and should therefore be available to all low-income families with children. This would provide immediate relief to thousands of struggling families as well as making real progress on the goal of ending child poverty in New Zealand by 2020.

When, what and where:

The summing-up sessions of CPAG vs Attorney General before the Human Rights Review Tribunal are open to media and the public.

They will be held in Wellington from Mon 14 July - Thur 18 July 2008. CPAG will sum up its case first, followed by the Crown.

Address is the 1st floor, 86 Customhouse Quay. Sessions run from 10am-1pm (with a break from 11:30 - 11:45) and then again in the afternoon from 2:15 - 5:15ish, also with a break in the middle there.

More about the case:

CPAG is being represented by the Office of Human Rights Proceedings. The group alleges the In-Work Tax Credit is discriminatory and damaging, because children whose parents cannot meet a work test are ineligible for the support needed to keep them out of poverty. Read a summary of the case or more about the progress of the case.


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