UNICEF NZ Welcomes Child Poverty Proposals

13rd September 2012 Posted in: Press Releases
Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director of UNICEF NZ, welcomes the recent launch of the Green party campaign to encourage New Zealanders to become Champions for Children and help to alleviate poverty.

“Any initiative to reduce child poverty and give every child the best possible start in life is welcomed,” said Mr McKinlay. The Green Party campaign urges people to email the Prime Minister to support Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s Universalisation of In-work Tax Credit Amendment Bill – to give all children who need it the same child payment that has made a difference to children living in low income families over recent years.

“There are still far too many children suffering the serious effects of severe and long term hardship,” said Mr McKinlay. “There is a strong social justice argument for making sure all children have what they need to thrive and achieve but there is an equally strong economic case for alleviating poverty and reducing the heavy burden of cost on our health, justice, education and welfare systems,” he said.

One in five children, whose parents are not in paid work, do not receive the tax credit and UNICEF NZ believes there is merit in the recommendation from the Experts Advisory Group on poverty (that reported to the Children’s Commissioner last week) to make the tax credit a universal payment to all children.

Dennis McKinlay hopes that other political parties will unite on behalf of children to support the Green Party Bill, “We have one chance to get it right for each child. Not to invest in the wellbeing of all children stores up intractable problems for later and that’s something we cannot afford to risk if we want to be a strong, socially cohesive and economically viable nation.”


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