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Lifting kids out of poverty priority for Labour

25 November 2009
Media Statement

Lifting children out of poverty priority for Labour

Labour Deputy Leader Annette King today congratulated the authors of the Social Health Monitor for their work which will ensure New Zealand does not turn a blind eye to poverty.

“This report will ensure that we can monitor the progress New Zealand is making in lifting children out of poverty and will ensure that politicians can not close their eyes to an urgent problem,” Annette King said.

“For Labour helping those children who were not lifted out of poverty after the introduction of Working For Families is unfinished business.

“It is a shame that the issue of child poverty is a political football in this country when all parties should be working together.

“The Every Child Counts Group, this year sought to establish a multiparty working group on children’s issues. As a result I wrote an urgent letter to Prime Minister John Key urging him to work with other political parties on this issue.

“But instead of agreeing to work with other political parties to combat child poverty he refused, stating that Parliament already had enough processes in place to consider issues relating to children.

“With the number of people reliant on a benefit climbing because of the recession it is simply untrue for the Prime Minister to claim that enough is already being done to help children living in poverty.

“Child poverty is a serious issue that will affect Kiwis for generations to come if it is not addressed.

“John Key and the National Government need to get rid of the rhetoric and get on with the job of tackling this urgent issue,” Annette King said.

ENDS

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