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Labour needs to come clean on exactly how many additional children will be lifted out of poverty with their Families Package, National Party Finance Spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“Grant Robertson proudly announced yesterday in the Budget Policy Statement that 39,000 more children would be lifted out of poverty than through the previous Government’s package,” Mr Joyce says.

“Yet the independent disclosure statement and Regulatory Impact Statement provided by Government Departments clearly states that only 12,000 more children will be lifted out of poverty through this package.

“This is a concerning difference.

“Asked to explain the discrepancy in Parliament today, the Government simply said that different officials have different views.

“And yet the Regulatory Impact Statement is signed off jointly by Inland Revenue, MSD and Treasury. These are the relevant officials for this package. This is their official view.

“The Government owes the public an explanation.

“They trumpeted their numbers loudly yesterday but the numbers in the RIS contradict them.

“Why did they provide their number and why are officials contradicting them?

“National announced last year that its Family Incomes Package was projected to lift 50,000 children out of poverty on 1 April 2018 and a further Package was announced during the election campaign to apply from 2020 with a similar impact.”

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