New Zealand Labour Party

Kids in poverty not something to sweep under the carpet

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley is running out of excuses to justify the Government’s blinkered response to child poverty, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“The Government’s own figures show the number of children living in poverty has jumped by 45,000 in just a year, rising from 260,000 in 2013 to 305,000 in 2014.


“That’s one of the biggest increases since National reduced benefits in 1991, yet Ms Tolley still won’t acknowledge child poverty rates are too high.

“Responding to questions in the House today she argued setting targets would be a waste of time because measuring child poverty was too difficult.

“That is garbage. The Children’s Commissioner has done it, almost every OECD country does it and we have statistical data to do it.

“We measure child abuse rates. There is no reason not to do the same for our poorest kids – it is no more difficult.

“Labour has set out exactly how the Government could target child poverty.

“In Social Justice Week it would be appropriate Ms Tolley looked to do something similar, rather than continuing to sweep the problem under the carpet.”