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National running for cover on child poverty

Deputy Leader
6 September 2011

National running for cover on child poverty

National is trying to run for cover as it fails to understand to the gravity and cost of child poverty in New Zealand, Labour Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“Today, in Parliament Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett admitted neither she nor the Prime Minister John Key knew what the cost of child poverty was in New Zealand,” Annette King said.

“This is clearly a Government that is hell bent on burying its head in the sand when it comes to the issue of child poverty.

“Today we learned that in a further attempt to bury bad news on child poverty National has scrapped funding for the Auckland University Growing Up in New Zealand study. This study involves 7000 children and their families and is designed to gather a complete picture about what is happening in Kiwi families.

“No wonder National have done nothing on child poverty in three years. It is clearly more interested in attempting to stem the tide of information on the issue than actually doing something.

“How is National going to come up with evidence based strategies on child poverty when it rubbishes the work of organisations like Every Child Counts and scraps funding for other groups such as those working on the Growing up in New Zealand study?

“National is failing New Zealand children. There are an estimated 200,000 children living in poverty in this country and all this Government has managed to do in three years is draft a green paper.

“National needs to stop trying to bury and discredit information on child poverty and start working on this issue.

“It is simply ridiculous that when asked questions on child poverty today the best Minister of Social Development Paula Bennett could do was waffle, ramble and give answers that made no sense.

“Kiwi kids are living in poverty now, they need a Government that sees them as a priority not as an issue that needs to be covered up,” Annette King said.


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