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No Gifts for Children under Government’s Christmas Tree

Child Poverty – No Gifts for Children under Government’s Christmas Tree

With Christmas just around the corner, documentary film-maker and children’s rights advocate Bryan Bruce decided to find out how generous our members of parliament were feeling towards our poorest children.

When his documentary INSIDE CHILD POVERTY went to air on TV3 two years ago, Bruce raised five policy suggestions to improve child well-being:

1. Warrants of Fitness to be compulsory for all rental properties.

2. Free healthy lunches to be made available to all school children. The scheme to be introduced to Decile 1, 2 and 3 schools first, and then rolled out progressively up to Decile 10 schools.

3. Free 24 hour medical care to be made available to all children and young people up to and including the age of 18.

4. Progressively extend the paid parental leave period to 12 months for the mother and two weeks for the father within the next nine years.

5. Change the Working for Families legislation so that children of parents not in work are not discriminated against.

So last month, with the help of a team of researchers, Bruce decided to find out where the political parties stood on each of those policy issues. Below are the results of his survey. Bruce has now also included the views of the Conservative Party as Colin Craig is currently a larger blimp on the political radar than ACT or NZ First.

Warrant of Fitness’s for Houses:
YES: Labour, Green, Maori, Mana, United Future, Brendon Horan
MAYBE: National, NZ First, Conservative
NO: Act

Paid Parental Leave for One Year
YES: Labour, Green, Maori, Mana, United Future, Brendon Horan
MAYBE: National, NZ First, Conservative
No: Act

Free Healthy Lunches for School Children:
YES: Labour, Green, Maori, Mana, Brendon Horan
MAYBE: NZ First
NO: National, Act, United Future, Conservative

Free healthcare for Everyone under 18:
YES: Green, Maori, Mana, Brendon Horan, Conservative
MAYBE: Labour, NZ First, Conservative
NO: Nat, Act, United Future

Change Working For Families Legislation:
YES: Green, Maori, Mana, Brendon Horan
MAYBE: Labour, NZ First
NO: Nat, Act, United Future, Conservative

In the current parliament here is how the votes on each of those issues would stack up:

YESMAYBENO
WOF for all rental housing54661
One year paid parental leave54661
Free lunch in deciles 1-3 schools53761
Free health to age 18 194161
Change Working for Families Legislation 194161

So while yachtsmen and film-makers celebrate their multi-million government windfalls, spare a thought for our children. There will be no government gifts for them this Christmas.

ENDS

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