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Report signals more action needed in poverty alleviation

Government report signals more action needed in poverty alleviation.

The Salvation Army welcomes the release today of the Household Incomes Report by the Ministry of Social Development.

However, the report shows there has been little change in the unacceptably high rates of poverty in New Zealand, says Salvation Army Social Policy Analyst Alan Johnson.

Bryan Perry’s annual review of incomes in New Zealand is an important annual measure of social health.

"Overall this data shows how important it is that the next government has a strong programme to ensure New Zealand is at the top of the OECD in poverty alleviation rather than in its present mediocre state."

The Salvation Army is concerned the report continues to highlight the enduring poverty of single working age adults (29 per cent).

The report shows child poverty rates appear to have fallen slightly from around 24 per in cent in 2009 to 22 per cent in 2013.

"These figures need to be accepted with some degree of caution given changes in the way in which benefits are being administered,” Johnson says.

Some families may be falling through the cracks with these changes, so it would be unwise to interpret any falls as resulting from improving job prospects, he says.

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