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Govt must stop discrimination against poorest kids

28 November 2005

Govt must stop discrimination against NZ's poorest kids

The Green Party is calling on the Government not to appeal a Human Rights Review Tribunal decision that could see an end to discrimination against some children from low-income families.

Green Party Social Development Spokesperson Sue Bradford says the tribunal's decision, following a complaint by Child Poverty Action Group over the Child Tax Credit and the In Work Payment, should be allowed to proceed to court.

Children whose parents are on benefits are not eligible for the Child Tax Credit, which was introduced in 1996, nor for its replacement, the In Work Payment, to be introduced in April next year as part of the Government's Working For Families initiative.

"It seems that this Labour-led Government is determined to push people off benefits and into work at almost any cost. There seems little regard for the children who are being penalised by this process.

"It is clearly unfair that children whose parents are on benefits are not eligible for this financial assistance when their classmates, whose parents may be earning the same, are.

"The Greens congratulate CPAG for their tenacity and determination on bringing this ground-breaking and highly significant case," Ms Bradford says.

"I call on the Government not to appeal the Tribunal's decision, but to have the courage to make a policy decision in favour of equity and in the best interests of all New Zealand children.

"Like CPAG, the Green Party has been fighting Labour since the 2003 Budget on the aspects of the Working For Families package, which entrenches structural discrimination against beneficiaries."

ENDS

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