A better life for every child in New Zealand

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

No New Zealand child should continue to live in poverty, Labour Deputy Leader Annette King says.A better life for every child in New Zealand
No New Zealand child should continue to live in poverty, Labour Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“Last night’s Inside Child Poverty programme was a must watch for every New Zealander. We cannot as a country turn a blind eye the urgent need of children,” Annette King said.

“Doing nothing is not an option. There are 200,000 children living below the poverty line in New Zealand. Many go without breakfast. They are living in cold, unheated homes.

“Labour has attempted to establish a bi-partisan approach to child poverty where every politician works together, John Key has repeatedly refused this approach and has rubbished the efforts of organisations attempting to highlight the urgent need for action on child poverty.

“It’s disappointing that National hasn’t prioritised child poverty and has instead chosen politics over children.

“Labour will have a Minister of Children ensuring that resources needed to lift children out of poverty are in place and working effectively across health, welfare, housing and employment.

Labour is also committing to lifting more children out of poverty by:
* Ensuring every 3 and 4 year old has access to free 20 hours Early Childhood Education a week.

* Assist 150,000 of our poorest families with children, with an extra $70-$80 a week. This will come through Labour’s $5000 tax free zone and by extending, in three steps, full Working for Families eligibility to people who currently don’t meet the criteria for the ‘In Work Tax Credit’ component.

* Provide free 24 hours a day seven days a week access to primary health care for all under 6s – through new funding, not cuts to other services;
* Provide high quality ECE and parent support from 18 months to 3 years for very vulnerable children;
* Set in legislation an official poverty measure — for the first time in New Zealand;
* Support all parents by registering every child with a Well Child provider of their parents’ choice before birth and resourcing those providers to assist families who need additional support;

“Labour lifted 130,000 children out of poverty during its last term. But we can and will do more. Lifting children out of poverty is unfinished business for Labour,” Annette King said.

Authorised by Annette King, Deputy Leader, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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