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National will support the Child Poverty Reduction Bill after securing important changes which will see progress on reducing child poverty properly measured and National’s social investment approach applied, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

“No child should be living in poverty and National is committed to lifting children out of hardship. The Government has an important role to play but it must be smart, it must be effective and it must be accountable to make a difference.

“That’s why it’s so important we get all measures aimed at reducing child poverty right. National has been working with the Government to improve its Child Poverty Reduction Bill to ensure it makes a difference and that progress is properly measured.

“Together we have improved the Bill in two important ways.

“Firstly, child poverty-related indicators will be specifically measured and reported on.

“These indicators mean poverty will be measured not just in simple financial terms, but in areas such as income and employment, housing, education and development and health, giving a broader picture to what poverty means for some children and to help form our response.

“Secondly, National’s pioneering approach to solving social issues will be adopted. Under the changes the Government must take into account the principles of early intervention and evidence-informed policy when making decisions on actions to address child poverty. This is an acknowledgement that evidence-based policies are an important way to improve the lives of our most vulnerable children, and simply throwing money at a problem is not enough.

“We want to do everything we can to support New Zealand children to be happy and healthy. That’s why we’ve worked constructively with the Labour-led Government to ensure that the lives of New Zealand children will be improved.”

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