May 05, 2015
Petition prescription for child poverty relief
A petition urging better policies around supporting children is being seen as an opportunity to address the needs of Maori and Pasifika children living in poverty.
The petition organized by Action Station, Unicef New Zealand and other non-governmental organisations calls for children to be treated as well as we treat our elders, with policy that is inclusive and non-discriminatory.
Child advocate Anton Blank says it’s calling for a universal child benefit or tax credits for all families, not just those who are working.
He says international research shows the universal benefits are the single biggest way to make an impact on child poverty.
"You know a lot of people think if we give people in poverty more money that they'll spend the money on themselves not their children. What research is showing is that the opposite is true. If we increase the incomes of the families then those parents will spend the money on things like food and their kids education and housing. We believe that increasing the income of the poorest New Zealanders will improve the lot of poor kids," he says.
Anton Blank says any measures to deal with child poverty in New Zealand need to recognise the particular needs of Maori and Pasifika, who have different perceptions of poverty.
The petition is available at www.actionstation.org.nz/endpovertynz.
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