CHILDREN IN HARDSHIP BILL A TIMID FIRST STEP

Media Release: Embargoed until 12pm (midday) Wednesday August 12th

The Children in Hardship Bill is a move in the right direction but is timid and short-sighted says the New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) BPW NZ made its oral submission to Parliament’s Social Services Select Committee in Wellington today. “BPW NZ is concerned that the effects of the Children in Hardship Bill will be minimal and do little to address the increasing hardship of families dealing with escalating housing costs,” says Vice President Hellen Swales. “The proposed Children in Hardship Bill does not go far enough” “Like many New Zealanders, we do not believe that allowing children to live under hardship is right or fair, however, international research suggests the single biggest impact on child poverty rates is central government policy settings. “It’s time for central government to empower women and families with children in poverty by making good policy. “BPW NZ is calling on the Government to ensure all beneficiary payments are linked to the CPI to ensure that children in poverty do not become further disadvantaged. “The follow through from this Bill will see many beneficiaries taking up poorly paid and insecure employment with little or no material benefit to children and often at high social cost. This is hardly empowering. “It is time to significantly improve conditions for all care-givers whether they are beneficiaries or in low-paid employment,” says Mrs Swales. ENDS For further information or to schedule an interview please contact: Vice President Hellen Swales 0275286799  or email  VPIssues@bpwnz.org.nz or President, Vicky Mee 021 1168 948 or email president@bpwnz.org.nz

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