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Time to rethink support for children

Media Release 16 June 2011

Time to rethink support for children

Child Poverty Action Group has challenged the government to rethink the failed Working for Families policies that have once again been highlighted by events in Christchurch.

Entitlement to “Working for Families” support is dependent on a certain number of hours being worked. This means it is badly designed for recessions and natural disasters,” says CPAG spokesperson, Mike O’Brien.

CPAG has called on the government to immediately to pay the same Working for Families tax credits to all low-income families, instead of cutting the support for children when parents are unable to work the prescribed number of hours.

“Thousands of New Zealand families are struggling with either the recession, or a natural disaster. Others, like many families in Christchurch, are now finding both the recession and the earthquakes dragging on and on.”

“It is the children in families made redundant through no fault of their own that are bearing the brunt of this ill-designed policy.”

The Greens are being very clear about prioritising children in their policies. They have committed to paying the In-Work Tax Credit to all families. This would provide support to those who need it most, and lessen the financial hardship of losing a job. CPAG applauds this policy as a very direct and cost effective way to help families in Christchurch maintain confidence as their economy picks itself up from this latest disaster.

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