Child poverty stats show need for action

The Green Party is calling on the Government to immediately provide more support to families doing it toughest.

Statistics released today by Stats NZ show the situation has not improved and that progress to lift children out of poverty is far too slow.

“The tools to lift every family and child out of poverty exist, the Government just needs to use them. They can start by increasing benefits to liveable levels, expanding Working for Families, and doubling Best Start and making it universal for the first three years,” says Green Party social development spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March.

“There is nothing more important than a warm, safe, affordable place to call home, with food on the table.

“But right now thousands of people are struggling. Rising inflation does not impact everyone equally, and those on the lowest incomes are being hit the hardest.

“When benefits don’t keep up with rising prices, people are forced to make impossible decisions about whether to feed their children, or pay the bills.

“This means tamariki are living in hardship, without the basic necessities that every child needs to access a good life.

“Poverty is a political choice. The Greens are clear that we need bold, permanent solutions where children are the number one priority - and we need them now.

“The only way to confront big problems we face with the urgency they demand is to have more Green MPs holding the balance of power in the next Government,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.

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