May 14, 2014
Children a priority in budget wish list
The Child Poverty Action Group wants tomorrow’s budget to make improving the position of the poorest children a priority as the economy recovers.
Spokesperson Michael O'Brien says the proceeds of growth need to be shared fairly, to support those most in need.
He says child poverty is not inevitable and can be reduced dramatically by policy change.
While new funding has been signalled to address rheumatic fever, head lice and budgeting services, a much broader strategy is needed to address the underlying causes of New Zealand's high rates of child poverty.
The group’s economics spokesperson, Susan St John, says the government sees economic growth and jobs as silver bullet solutions to poverty, but many sole parents can’t undertake enough paid work to sustain a family, especially when children are young.
Even families in paid work are struggling, with 40 percent of all poor children found in such families.
Current benefit levels and the lack of proper weekly child tax credits means there is insufficient income to protect children from material hardship and poverty.
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