The Green Party has a comprehensive plan to address child poverty, and will start by reforming Working for Families to make it work for every low-income family.
“The Green Party in Government will do what John Key refuses to – reduce child poverty across the board. We are committed to that goal because, as a country, we can’t afford not to,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.
“The UN Sustainable Development Goals, which John Key committed to, call for a halving of the number of people living in poverty by 2030. The Green Party will take the action required to meet this target, and when in Government will develop the comprehensive plan needed to achieve it. The Greens will work to make this happen, and will prioritise child poverty because that improves the incomes for the whole family.
“To address child poverty, the first thing the Government should do is extend Working for Families to cover all New Zealand families who need it, whether in paid work or not.
“The Green Party will remove discrimination from the Working for Families programme which unfairly prejudices the very poorest of our children.
“Children have the same needs, whether their parents have over 20 hours’ of paid work a week or not. The Government needs to stop picking favourites with their policies when it hurts our children so much. Every parent and child knows it’s not on to pick favourites when it comes to children.
“New Zealand should be the very best place in the world to grow up. But for 295,000 Kiwi children currently in poverty, that’s just not the case.
“All children deserve a fair go and the best way out of poverty for our children is to support their parents and caregivers.
“There are children in desperate need every day, with far too many going to school hungry, living in cold, mouldy houses, and getting sick with poverty-related illness.
“By ensuring that families are able to sustain themselves, we are ensuring the best possible future for our children,” Mrs Turei said.