The New Zealand Council for Christian Social Services network have welcomed major commitments to reduce child poverty offered by both National and Labour party leaders yesterday.
“We are extremely happy that the leaders of both the largest political parties have committed to lifting 100,000 children out of poverty”, said Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS).
“Whatever the outcome of this election we will be holding the ruling majority party to this commitment, and will be seeking further initiatives to raise more children out of lives of poverty”.
NZCCSS members work every day with desperate families who are struggling to provide the basics of food and shelter to their children, both in households where parents are in work or on benefits.
NZCCSS believes that these commitments, made by Bill English in Monday night’s political leaders’ debate and on Tuesday morning’s Radio NZ interview by Jacinda Ardern, will give many families hope that the future will be better. NZCCSS will seek to extend this commitment to quickly cover most, if not all children who live in poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand.
“Given both leaders are committed to raising children out of poverty and have set a target to do so, this is a good time to stop using poverty stricken families and their children as political footballs." said Trevor McGlinchey today.
Instead the NZCCSS is backing the same solution put forward by the Children's Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft this morning: a cross-party accord to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand.
“Such an accord would be a true and fair response to the scourge of child poverty in our land." said McGlinchey.