INDEPENDENT NEWS

do something about child poverty for Christmas

Published: Tue 7 Dec 2010 01:45 PM
On the second day of Christmas, let’s do something about child poverty
On ‘the second day of Christmas’, the Green Party today urged National and Labour do something concrete about child poverty by extending Working for Families support to children whose parents rely on a benefit.
“Every child needs a warm, dry, secure home, safe food to grow healthy and strong, quality public education, and a safe environment. If we guarantee these essentials, we guarantee our kids opportunities for life,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.
“The In-Work Tax Credit provides an extra $60 per week to help secure these things for children in low income families, but is not available to kids whose caregivers rely on a benefit.
“Because of this unfair system, about 140,000 families in tough circumstances miss out on much-needed financial support to meet their kids’ needs.
“John Key’s Government has introduced punitive welfare changes like work testing and sanctions that make it even harder for these kids to get the best possible start in life.
“The Labour Party says it wants to put children at the centre of decision-making, but Labour set up this unfair system, and has no plans to change it.
“Instead of doing something about child poverty, Labour confirmed yesterday that its focus is on the middle classes, not the thousands of New Zealand families who can’t afford the basics right now.
“The Greens have a Member’s Bill in the ballot that would extend Working for Families support to children whose parents rely on a benefit.
“This is one of the solutions on our Christmas wish-list that would guarantee the essentials for our kids, narrow the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and help to build a strong community that's better for everyone,” Mrs Turei said.
Each working day between now and Christmas, the Green Party is highlighting a key issue related to inequality, and presenting Green solutions to those issues.
“Christmas is a great time to look around us and remember that a fair society is better for everyone. Together, we can build strong, resilient communities and families,” Mrs Turei said.
On the ‘third day of Christmas’ tomorrow, the Green Party will examine how well we are meeting our obligations towards people with disabilities.
ENDS

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