Minimal change in child poverty targets as cost of living bites

The Labour Government’s reset of poverty targets three years later describes an admission of policy failure under rising costs, especially housing, National’s Children spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“Of the three targets that the Government has announced, the new ‘before-housing-costs target is unchanged from three years ago, the ‘after-housing-costs’ targets is moderately changed and the ‘children experiencing material hardship’ is only slightly changed.

“Despite promising big, Labour has failed to deliver on its child poverty commitments.

“The Prime Minister promised to lift 100,000 children out of poverty in the first term and her Government has clearly failed.

“According to the latest statistics, there are now 1500 more children living in poverty than when she took office.

“The Government’s inability to get New Zealand’s housing crisis under control is hurting vulnerable New Zealanders.

“Rents have increased so much that more and more families are moving onto the state house waiting list, and there are now about 4000 children being raised in emergency housing, regularly exposed to violence, drug use and gangs.

“Jacinda Ardern’s Government isn’t making life easier for struggling New Zealanders.

“We should all be pleased with any reduction in numbers of children in poverty but the statistical differences are marginal at best.”