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Time for action, not more words, on child poverty

Social Development Spokesperson
Spokesperson for Children

Time for action, not more words, on child poverty

The Government must act on the findings and recommendations from the Children’s Commissioners newly established expert group to find solutions to child poverty if it wants to retain any credibility, Labour’s Social Development and Children’s spokesperson, Jacinda Ardern says.

“The establishment of this group is to be applauded. It has been tasked by the Commissioner with finding evidence-based, realistic and effective ways of combating child poverty. That is long overdue.

“However it also raises more questions over the adequacy of the Government’s response to this critical issue so far, and about what action we can expect as a result of this new piece of work,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“We have been calling on the Government to broaden the scope of its Green Paper on vulnerable children - to address issues that contribute to children’s wellbeing and vulnerability, including poverty and income inequality – for months now.

“The response from Paula Bennett has been dismissive at worst, and at best, has simply pointed to the Government’s Ministerial Committee on Poverty.

“That committee met for the first time only recently, and again seems to have a heavy focus on targeting services rather than looking at the underlying causes of poor outcomes for children, including poverty.

“Just today I attended the launch of a report The Health of Maori Children and Young People with Chronic Conditions and Disabilities.
“The overarching feeling from that was that more effort is needed to address the initial causes of the problem,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“The evidence is clear that income inequality and poverty are continuing to lead to poor health outcomes for our children. And that’s a matter that has to be dealt with at central Government level, and with urgency.”

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