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Key against all measures to end child poverty

10 September 2012

Key against all measures to end child poverty

John Key’s statement that measures to alleviate child poverty, like food in schools, are not needed shows he is out of touch with the facts and against every good idea to decrease child poverty, the Green Party said today.

John Key has dismissed a Labour Party proposal to offer free food in decile 1-3 schools.

“John Key is against supplying free food in schools despite the Children’s Commissioner’s recent report spelling out why it is such a good idea,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Food in schools is needed. According to Kidscan, one in 11 kids in the four lowest deciles are demonstrably hungry at school, and a Ministry of Health survey found that 20.1 percent of New Zealand households with school-age children did not have enough food for active and health living.

“John Key is against every good idea to end child poverty.

“It is dopey to be opposed to every good proposal to eliminate child poverty given that the cost of such high child poverty rates are estimated to be between $6 billion and $8 billion a year.

“National’s track record on child poverty is a disgrace. Their own measures show inequality and poverty have grown under their watch.”

“John Key doesn’t support a universal child benefit because he thinks it is dopey, but he also doesn’t support my Bill to introduce a child payment targeted at those on the lowest incomes.

“National is in la la land when it comes to poverty. Their policies are increasing hardship, and they reject every good proposal to help end it,” Mrs Turei said.

“It is time to take action to end child poverty. Support for my bill to extend the in-work tax credit to the poorest families, at least through first reading, would be a good start.”

The Green Party is launching the Take the Step - Be a Champion for Children campaign to help end child poverty tomorrow, Tuesday 11 September, at Miramar South School at 12 noon.

ends

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