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Greens welcome NZahead report

Greens welcome NZahead report

Another report highlighting high levels of hardship among our children provides more reasons to invest in bringing children out of poverty, the Green Party said today.

The NZahead report, produced by the New Zealand Institute, scores New Zealand a “D” for income inequality pointing out that children, in particular suffer higher rates of hardship and New Zealand compares poorly to our OECD peers.

“Income inequality hurts us all, as this report highlights, but it especially hurts our children,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

“One quarter of all New Zealand children are growing up in poverty, and the New Zealand Institute are critical of the Government and policy makers alike for doing little to address it.

“In fact, the report highlights that changes proposed by the National Government’s Welfare Working Group will lead to even higher levels of inequality, particularly for children.

“The Government is turning their backs on our children ignoring the $6 billion per year deadweight cost to our country in lost productivity and increased social spending.”

The NZahead report details the flaw in the current Working for Families income support package that improves the lives of children in families with working parents, but does nothing to support children in households receiving income primarily from benefits.

“There are simple, affordable, and realistic solutions available to us right now to deal with child poverty directly bringing 100,000 children out of poverty by 2014. We have costed this plan and we know we can do it,” said Mrs Turei.

“The Green Party would address the flaw with Working for Families by extending it to every low income family. We can also provide better study support for sole parents and beneficiaries through the training incentive allowance. We’d raise the minimum wage to help working parents, and ensure rental properties are warm and healthy for kids.

“We can progress a number of these measures with either a National or Labour Government in the next term.

“We have plenty of evidence showing the scale of the problem – now it's time for some political leadership to do something about it,” Mrs Turei said.

Link to report: http://nzinstitute.org/index.php/nzahead

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