Today’s Budget is still no solution to child poverty, the Green Party said.
“John Key could have kept his promise to tackle child poverty, but he chose instead to do the bare minimum,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.
“Much of what National is giving to beneficiary families in one hand, will be taken away with the other.
“The increases to benefits that families are getting will be eroded in many cases by reductions in other payments.
“Increases to benefits are more than 40 years overdue, so it would have been great if parents could keep more of what’s already a stingy amount.
“Forcing the parents of toddlers into work is not a solution to poverty.
“There are few jobs for these parents and the numbers of underemployed New Zealanders will simply rise further.
“John Key failed to understand today that unless the economy is working for all New Zealanders, it is not working.
“People under 40 are still going to be less likely to own a home, more burdened with student debt, face higher under-employment and, in the case of children, more likely to be sick from a disease of poverty or turn up to school hungry.
“For all those young people not yet enrolled in KiwiSaver, National have taken away the $1,000 kick-start.
“Wages have flat lined for the lower half of all New Zealanders, and the number of people who are underemployed – that is those not working enough – has skyrocketed under National.
“Freeing up land for more houses is sensible, but unless you promise to make all the homes affordable, and create opportunities for families to buy them, you’re not helping those who need the most help to get into their own home.
“The National Government has spent the last six years governing in the interests of the few. We welcome the increase for some beneficiaries in this Budget but it is no solution to child poverty,” Mrs Turei said.