New Zealand Labour Party

Key’s comments irresponsible and wrong

Inflammatory claims by John Key that drug abuse is a major contributor to child poverty are not only wrong, but irresponsible, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern

“The Prime Minister has been taken to task over his Government’s inability to tackle child poverty and his knee-jerk response is to attack the very people he is failing.

“His remarks come just a day after the Children’s Commissioner kicked off a campaign to highlight the fact that child poverty is not driven by choice.

“If the Prime Minister wants to make claims like this he needs to back them up. However that’s unlikely - these are families who are struggling to survive on the lowest of incomes.

“Before making any more outrageous and unwarranted assumptions it would be worth Mr Key visiting some of the organisations who work with these families every day, or a hospital after desperate parents have had to take children suffering from preventable diseases linked to poverty.

“Today’s response shows exactly why the Government is making little headway in coming to grips with increasing rates of child poverty.

“Blame, especially when it’s not backed up, helps no one. And it definitely won’t help the kids,” Jacinda Ardern says.