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John Key should attack poverty not report

16 August 2011

John Key should attack poverty not report

John Key should apologise for rubbishing a report that highlights the economic cost of child poverty in New Zealand said the Green Party today.

During question time in Parliament today John Key labelled a report commissioned by Every Child Counts and written by Infometrics that calculates the cost of child poverty to the nation at around six billion dollars a year as “rubbish”.

“John Key took an unnecessarily hostile and aggressive stance on a serious issue that affects over 270,000 Kiwi kids,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“There is a consensus amongst organisations who work in this area that not acting to reduce child poverty carries a significant economic cost to the country.

“John Key should attack the causes of poverty, not reports that highlight its economic cost to the country.

“Not a single child will be better off as a result of the Prime Minister attacking the Every Child Counts report. This is not a constructive approach.

“Rather than attacking a good report the Government ought to be looking at ways to reduce child poverty,” Mrs Turei said.

The Green Party's solutions to child poverty were: 1) Make Working for Families work for every low-income family; 2) Provide better study support for sole parents and beneficiaries; 3) Raise the minimum wage to help working parents; and 4) make sure rental properties are warm and healthy for kids.

Mrs Turei said the Green Party's solutions to bring 100,000 children out of poverty would cost $360m per year, or less than 0.3 percent of GDP.

“The Green Party's plan shows there are easy, affordable, practical solutions that will make a huge dent in our child poverty statistics, and help to ensure that hundreds of thousands of kiwi kids get the chances they deserve,” said Ms Turei.

The Every Child Counts report can be found at http://www.everychildcountsorg.nz/

ENDS

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