Kids living in poverty cannot wait any longer for change

Labour needs to urgently up its game if it is to ensure every child in Aotearoa has what they need to thrive, the Green Party said in response to the Child Poverty Action Group’s latest report.

“Poverty is not inevitable. It is caused by low incomes, inadequate benefits, expensive housing and childcare, and the rising cost of living. Right now we’re not seeing enough action from Labour Ministers to address these issues and provide the support low-income families desperately need,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, Green Party spokesperson for Social Development and Employment.

“Most of us want the same things for kids – a warm, dry safe place to call home, food on the table, and shoes on their feet. However, generations of kids have gone without these simple things due to successive governments' failure to support a parent or carer's ability to provide for their family.

“It doesn’t have to be like this. The Green Party and Labour have long shared a commitment to reduce child poverty in Aotearoa but we’ve been disappointed with the lack of urgency Labour Ministers have shown. Some welcome steps have been taken, such as the benefit increase in this year’s Budget, but these changes do not come even close to the transformative approach we need.

“There is no excuse for Labour not to have done more to lift people out of poverty. As CPAG shows, a child born into poverty today will be raising their own family before our welfare safety net is strong enough to protect all children from poverty. With the current pace of change, it could be decades before Aotearoa is a place where all children can enjoy a childhood free from hardship.

“Ensuring everyone can thrive will require further increases to benefits, an end to harmful benefit sanctions, the individualisation of our income support system, the universalisation of working for families, and an overhaul of the principles of the Social Security Act so the Government is mandated to end hardship, not just alleviate it.

“Over the last two years community groups have come together to ensure families have enough to live with dignity, but without the Government doing its part it becomes an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. The Green Party will continue to push Labour to go further, faster to support children and families living in poverty to pull through and lead their lives with dignity,” says Ricardo Menéndez March. 

ENDS

Latest Social Development Announcements

Story

Greens welcome childcare support, call for more action

The Green Party is welcoming the modest support for families announced by the Labour Government but calling for more urgent action to ease the pres...
Read More

Story

Benefit stats show urgent need to wipe Work and Income debt

The Government needs to clear the debt that MSD has forced hundreds of thousands of low income people to take on and immediately lift benefits, say...
Read More

Story

Welfare support must keep pace with inflation

The tools exist to lift every family out of poverty – and as costs continue to rise it is more urgent than ever that we use them, the Green Party s...
Read More

Story

Decent work, not sanctions

The Green Party is calling for a cross-party commitment to guaranteeing at least a living wage and safe working conditions to people seeking employ...
Read More

Story

Welfare is about support, not sanctions

The Greens are the only party with a comprehensive plan to support people on low incomes so everyone in and out of work has enough to make ends mee...
Read More

Story

Mana in Mahi must guarantee liveable incomes

The Government’s employment initiatives led by the Ministry of Social Development must guarantee liveable incomes and fair working conditions, the ...
Read More

Latest Child Poverty Reduction Announcements

Story

Child poverty report shows need for urgent action

The Green Party is calling on the Government to immediately step up and provide families on the lowest incomes the support they need to thrive, the...
Read More

Story

Green Party launch child poverty campaign

The Green Party has published an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on the Government to make some small changes to Working for Families so ...
Read More

Story

Rent controls and income boost essential for kids’ wellbeing

The Green Party is calling on the Government to immediately introduce rent controls and expand the cost of living payment to those most in need.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: James Shaw Budget Speech

Mr Speaker, It has taken four-and-a-half years to even start to turn the legacy of inaction and neglect from the last time they were in Government ...
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for greater ambition to address inequality crisis

Green Party reaffirms call for liveable incomes and wealth tax Calls on Government to cancel debt owed to MSD for hardship assistance such as bene...
Read More

Story

Liveable incomes still desperately needed

Today’s child poverty statistics show family incomes are not high enough, and the Government must do more if it really wants to end child poverty.
Read More